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Where Ben White fits into England lin-eup after surprise Euro 2020 selection

Ben White’s call-up to the England squad for Euro 2020 might come as a surprise to some, but he’s the most versatile player at Gareth Southgate’s disposal.

The England boss had a difficult choice to make when Trent Alexander-Arnold was ruled out of the tournament with a thigh injury.

Jesse Lingard seemed the most obvious candidate due to his excellent form during the second half of the season with West Ham.

James Ward-Prowse was another strong choice with his ability from set-pieces and a brilliant campaign with Southampton.

But Brighton rising star White was given the nod over every one else after impressing in friendlies against Austria and Romania.

So as the 26th man will he be there just to make up the numbers or could he have a part to play with The Three Lions?

We have a look at where he could fit into the England line-up if he’s called upon.

Brighton defender Ben White has been added to England’s Euro 2020 squad as Trent Alexander-Arnolds replacement

Did Gareth Southgate make the right choice calling up Ben White? Comment below

Centre back

This is his preferred position and where he has played most of the season with Brighton and also in the warm-up games against Austria and Romania this past week.

With Harry Maguire’s injury, he is in with a chance to partner John Stones in the heart of defence.

But also, his versatility would allow him to play in any of the three roles – right side, centre, left side – should Southgate revert to a back three.

Manchester City defender Kyle Walker, Tyrone Mings and Conor Coady are also options, but White has the advantage of being able to slot into any of the three centre-back roles – while none of the others really can.

With the Manchester United skipper potentially out until the knockout stages, there is a spot there to be taken for someone.

Holding midfield

Confident on the ball and always looking to pass forward, White is more than capable of playing as a holding midfielder.

And it’s another area England are short in with Jordan Henderson’s fitness a concern.

Just like Maguire, there are serious question marks over the Liverpool captain’s lack of playing time heading into the tournament.

James Ward-Prowse and Ben White during the warm up before the 1-0 win over Romania
James Ward-Prowse and Ben White during the warm up before the 1-0 win over Romania

White might not be Southgate’s first choice in that position – and it is a position he’s only been used in intermittently by Seagulls boss Graham Potter – but an injury to Declan Rice, and suddenly he might be required to do a job.

His ability to step into midfield with little fuss may well have been why he was chosen over Ward-Prowse; why only cover one position with your 26th man?

Right back

England did lose out on a right-back with Alexander Arnold’s injury, but they actually didn’t need a like-for-like replacement.

They already have Kyle Walker, Reece James and Kieran Trippier to fill that void, but it’s a position White can also play in if need be.

The 23-year-old boasts a good engine to get up and down the touchline, a decent end product and hard-nosed defending which makes him a more than respectable choice at full-back.

Again, Potter has used him in a wing-back role this term too.

England’s strength and depth at this position means it’s unlikely that’s where he will be deployed, but again it is another option nevertheless.




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