Arteta backs White to make England World Cup squad


Ben White has started all Arsenal’s Premier League matches this season

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has backed Gunners defender Ben White “to make the step up” to England’s World Cup squad.

White, 24, was a surprise omission from England boss Gareth Southgate’s Nations League squad to face Italy and Germany last month.

But his World Cup selection hopes for Qatar this winter were boosted by right-back Kyle Walker’s groin injury.

White has mostly played right-back for Arsenal this season despite being used as a centre-half last campaign.

And Arteta praised the former Brighton and Leeds player’s versatility, with Manchester City’s Walker set to have surgery.

“Ben would be very comfortable playing on the right side of a back three as well as in the middle or as a full-back,” said the Spaniard.

“If you ask me if he is ready to make that step [to England], then the answer is yes because he is a very confident boy, he gives you absolutely everything, he is always available and he has the courage to play under real pressure.”

Asked about Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, who also failed to make an appearance for England last month, Arteta added: “He is a very special talent.

“What he adds offensively to the team every year is difficult to find in that position.”

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