What does Ben White’s call-up mean for Gareth Southgate’s likely England starters?

Southgate picks White

England manager Gareth Southgate has made the decision to pick Ben White of Brighton to be the replacement for Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The Liverpool full-back was injured clearing the ball in the first friendly against Austria.

It is expected that it could take up to 6 weeks to recover and therefore he would miss the tournament.

White played in both friendlies against Austria and Romania and The Athletic report that it is his ability to play in defence and midfield which was a factor in Southgate’s decision.

The 23-year-old showed quality and versatility in the warm-up games, while the ongoing uncertainty over Harry Maguire’s fitness could make extra cover in central defence all the more important.

What does this mean for the team?

The likely answer remains very little.

White will come in and be very much on the periphery unless some major injuries take place.

The aforementioned issues experienced by Harry Maguire will open the door for someone in the group stage to play alongside John Stones.

The Manchester City player is expected to start after a stellar season under Pep Guardiola.

What does Ben White’s call-up mean for Gareth Southgate’s likely England starters?

TIRANA, ALBANIA – MARCH 28: Harry Kane of England celebrates with team mates (L – R) Declan Rice, John Stones and Mason Mount after scoring their side’s first goal during the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar qualifying match between Albania and England at the Qemal Stafa Stadium on March 28, 2021 in Tirana, Albania. Sporting stadiums around Europe remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic – The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

His partner, should Southgate choose to play with a back four, is likely to be one of Conor Coady or Tyrone Mings. White would be competing with the pair for a place.

A back three is likely to see Kyle Walker shift inside with one of Kieran Trippier or Reece James play as a right wing-back.

In midfield, the omission of James Ward-Prowse has put extra pressure on Jordan Henderson to return to fitness. Without him, the options are limited to Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips and Jude Bellingham.

Henderson did come off the bench against Romania which will be an encouraging sign.

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Southgate picks WhiteEngland manager Gareth Southgate has made the decision to pick Ben White of Brighton to be the replacement for Trent Alexander-Arnold.The Liverpool full-back was injured clearing the ball in the first friendly against Austria.It is expected that it could take up to 6 weeks to recover and therefore he would miss the tournament.Football (soccer) greatest goals and highlights | 101 Great Goals – Feed

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