The FA have confirmed Gareth Southgate’s 26-man England squad for the World Cup and it’s good news for Arsenal trio Bukayo Saka, Aaron Ramsdale and Ben White who’ve all made the cut.
There was little doubt that Saka, England’s player of the year, and Ramsdale would make the plane, however, a debate about White’s inclusion has been raging for weeks. The 25-year-old has been in superb form this season and looks to have benefitted from injuries to other defenders after being on the fringes of the Three Lions’ recently.
It’s not White’s first major tournament, he was also a late selection for the delayed European Championships in 2021.
Asked if he was excited about going to Qatar, White rolled his eyes and said, “What do you think?” He then walked off.
— England (@England) November 10, 2022
Of the three Gunners, Saka is likely to get the most game time. As things stand, Ramsdale will be fighting with Nick Pope as a backup to Jordan Pickford. White will provide competition at right-back and centre-back.
At the start of the year, Emile Smith Rowe harboured ambitions of a call-up but his 2022 has been wrecked by injuries. He’s currently recovering from groin surgery and should be back in late December.
England’s tournament starts on 21 November against Iran and includes tasty showdowns with Matt Turner’s USA and Wales.