Mikel Arteta, manager of Arsenal, supported Ben White to step into the England World Cup squad if Kyle Walker, who suffered through injury, is ruled out. Mikel believes that Ben could slot easily into Gareth Southgate’s back three.
Walker suffered from a groin injury, which left him with an uphill battle to be fit for Qatar 2022, while England will begin their first World Cup match against Iran on 21 November. Walker underwent successful groin surgery, but it could take time to recover and fit completely.
If Walker, who plays for Man City, does not play for England, then Ben would hold genuine hope of a recall.
Last season, Ben shone in the middle for Arsenal, but this season he has been a revelation at right-back in their strong start. He has proved highly adaptable, and Mikel he can excel in the right-sided centre-back role Walker has occupied.
On asked whether White could push for inclusion and if that position would suit him, Mikel said both Ben would be very comfortable playing on the right side of a back three in the middle or as a full-back. If you ask me if Ben is ready to make that step, then the answer is yes because he is a very confident boy, Mikel said.
Moreover, Mikel said, Ben gives you absolutely everything, is always available, and has the courage to play under real pressure.
Ben won the most recent of his four caps in March, and Mikel believes his form as an attacking full-back speaks of an invaluable versatility.
Mikel said we all believed Ben had the qualities to do that, and the most important step, probably, was for him to believe he could do it and to feel comfortable in that position. He said the position could maximize his potential and give him another dimension as a player.
It is expected that Ben will start for Arsenal against Liverpool.