Gareth Southgate had no choice but to find a replacement after Alexander-Arnold suffered a thigh injury in a friendly match against Austria.
Brighton and Hove Albion defender Ben White has been included in England’s squad for Euro 2020. The late change in the 26-man squad comes after Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold withdrew from the competition due to an injury. Manager Gareth Southgate had no choice but to find a replacement after the defender suffered a thigh injury in England’s friendly match against Austria on Wednesday. The English FA confirmed the news on Monday. Southgate was recently criticized for selecting an excessive number of defenders, especially right-backs. Therefore, Trent’s injury was seen as an opportunity to include an attacking player in the side. However, with the uncertainty over Harry Maguire’s fitness, the England manager seems to be more concerned about making his defensive line as strong and versatile as possible.
It was speculated that the vacancy may be filled by any one of Jesse Lingard, James Ward-Prowse, or White. All three had impressed in England’s 1-0 win over Austria and Southgate was left with a tough choice. Lingard was the fan favourite to get into the side. Ever since his loan move from Manchester United to West Ham United, the 28-year-old seems to have rejuvenated his career which had gone stagnant at Old Trafford.
Southgate’s decision might not seem obvious to many fans. This is because White made his England debut only one week ago against Austria when he came off the bench. He was deployed as a holding midfielder in the match. His first start came on Sunday when England played Romania. He was deployed as a center-back then.
Apart from Lingard and Ward-Prowse, fans were also expectant of either Ollie Watkins or Ben Godfrey making the squad. Godfrey, an Everton defender, had featured in both of England’s pre-Euro 2020 friendly matches.
England managed to narrowly win both of their friendlies 1-0 against Austria and Romania ahead of the Euros. They will face world cup runners-up Croatia in their first match of the tournament on June 13.