White a shock inclusion
Brighton defender Ben White is set to be handed a chance to head to EURO2020 when Gareth Southgate names his preliminary squad later today, according to The Athletic.
— Andy Naylor (@AndyNaylorBHAFC) May 25, 2021
White is as of yet uncapped at any level for the Three Lions, but has had an impressive campaign for Graham Potter’s side, appearing in several different positions. Making 36 appearances for Brighton, White has excelled and quickly become Potter’s most trusted defender.
With Harry Maguire a doubt for the tournament, it is likely that Ben White has been drafted in as a precaution, in case the Manchester United defender fails to recover from his injury in time for the opening fixture.
England are somewhat light in the centre of defence, with other options including Michael Keane and Tyrone Mings, both of whom have failed to make the position their own when given the opportunity.
Benefits of a larger squad
White is probably one of several beneficiaries of Gareth Southgate’s decision to delay naming a 26 man squad, instead choosing to name a larger “provisional squad” on Tuesday.
Gareth Southgate will name a provisional extended England squad for Euro 2020 this afternoon.#bbccfootball
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) May 25, 2021
This is thought to be at least in part due to fitness concerns surrounding potential members Jordan Henderson, Kalvin Phillips and Maguire, whilst it will also grant the England boss more time to decide whether he wishes to continue with his controversial stance not to include Liverpool’s Trent Alexander Arnold.
🏴 TAA particularly good going forward but not as strong as England rivals when defending crosses & 1v1
🏴 Exploited by some of #LFC’s opponents, including #RMCF in #UCL
🏴 Southgate’s tactics more conservative & structurally rigid
— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) May 25, 2021
It remains to be seen whether Ben White makes the slimmed-down squad that Southgate will have to name closer to the time, but it is perhaps the first of several surprising inclusions ahead of today’s announcement.