Gareth Southgate issues blunt reply to question about picking Arsenal star for Euro squad

gareth southgate issues blunt reply to question about picking arsenal star for euro squad

Gareth Southgate has picked a 33-man provisional squad ahead of Euro 2024 (Picture: PA)

Gareth Southgate has confirmed he made no effort to tempt Arsenal star Ben White to change his mind and represent England at Euro 2024.

The Three Lions boss named his provisional 33-man squad on Tuesday and must cut seven names from that group by June 7.

Southgate is facing a defensive injury crisis with the likes of Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw facing uphill battles to be ready in time for England’s first group game against Serbia.

White’s versatility would likely have made him a shoo-in for the squad were it not for the fact he has chosen not to represent his country following a reported bust-up with Southgate’s assistant Steve Holland.

The Arsenal star pulled out of England’s World Cup squad in Qatar midway through the tournament and hasn’t represented his country since.

White has continued to excel for his club where he has morphed from an elegant, ball playing centre-half into a rampaging, attack-minded right-back.

The 24-year-old, however, declared himself unavailable for selection ahead of the recent friendlies against Brazil and Belgium with Southgate revealing Arsenal’s sporting director, Edu, called him to inform him of White’s decision.

Asked if he had considered tempting White out of his self-imposed exile, Southgate said: ‘I didn’t speak to Ben White. As far as I am aware, he isn’t available to us.’

gareth southgate issues blunt reply to question about picking arsenal star for euro squad

Ben White has enjoyed another superb season for Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Southgate, meanwhile, has left Marcus Rashford and Jordan Henderson out of his provisional Euro 2024 squad.

Rashford – who has been to the last four major tournaments – and vice-captain Henderson – a veteran of six tournaments – are the most high-profile omissions.

The former has struggled for form at Manchester United this season, with the latter joining Ajax in January having made a controversial move to Saudi side Al-Ettifaq last summer.

Raheem Sterling’s absence from the long list is less surprising, with Chelsea team-mates Ben Chilwell, Reece James and Levi Colwill also omitted.

The training group includes a number of uncapped players. Liverpool youngsters Curtis Jones and Jarell Quansah have been included for the first time, while there is a first call-up for Adam Wharton.

The Crystal Palace midfielder is joined in the squad by team-mates Eberechi Eze, Marc Guehi and Dean Henderson.

Uncapped Jarrad Branthwaite and James Trafford have both been included after taking part in the senior camp for the first time in March.

Kobbie Mainoo, 19, is the youngest member of the squad having impressed on his maiden call-up in March. Ivan Toney and Ollie Watkins have both been included on the long list.

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