Arteta confirms Ben White “received a lot of love” after England decision

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has stated that defender Ben White has “received a lot of love” after he decided not to play for England during the most recent international break. 

Manager of the Three Lions, Gareth Southgate, revealed in the build-up to England’s most recent games that Arsenal technical director Edu had informed him that White did not want to be selected for the friendlies against Brazil and Belgium.

This brought a lot of criticism the 26-year-old’s way and it is clear that the environment is not one the Gunners man feels comfortable joining.

White caused a stir when he left the England camp midway through the 2022 World Cup campaign in Qatar and reports have suggested that the rift was sparked by England assistant coach Steve Holland questioning the defender’s interest in football.

Southgate’s assistant reportedly asked Kyle Walker a question related to Manchester City’s performances in the previous season, before posing the same question to White in regards to Arsenal. The 26-year-old allegedly said he did not know the answer, leading Holland to claim that was down to his lack of interest in football.

It is uncertain if the defender will ever play for England again but Mikel Arteta hopes his player does one day.

Ben White refused to be called up to the latest England squad

Mikel Arteta hopes to see Ben White in an England shirt again

Speaking to the press on Friday, Arteta spoke about the White situation with England and stated that the player has received a lot of support over the international break.

“I think he has received a lot of love. You just have to see what his teammates and everyone close to him in football says,” the Arsenal boss said via the Daily Mail. “I think people have respected.

“Hopefully, he can represent his country in the best way possible one day. That’s up to him.”

White has been fantastic for the North London club this season and it is a shame that he is unlikely to be going to Euro 2024 this summer.