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Arteta challenges White to prove England wrong after squad snub

Gareth Southgate’s 28-man squad included six centre-backs – Manchester United’s Harry Maguire, Manchester City’s John Stones, AC Milan’s Fikayo Tomori, Everton’s Conor Coady and Tottenham’s Eric Dier – but not White, who last played for the Three Lions in March.

White has often filled in at right-back for the Gunners this season, due to the burgeoning partnership between Gabriel and William Saliba and, head of a weekend clash with Brentford, Gunners boss Arteta says his defender can use the snub has motivation.

“Yes, he is fit,” Arteta said at London Colney, dismissing reports of a fitness issue. “He has played in both positions and he has been selected sometimes and not. I think to have a versatile player to play at that level in both positions of central defender and full back is something that in my opinion any manager wants.

“Especially when you go to a tournament where a lot of things can happen. That’s Gareth’s decision along with his coaching staff. Whenever he gets the call, he will be ready.

“Listen, Gareth picks the best squad that he believes is for now. The squad he picked for November is incredible. Anything we can do to help Ben, we are trying to do.

“I think Ben is giving a lot of reasons to be selected. That’s all we can do.”

White’s team-mate Gabriel Jesus has this month suffered a similar fate after being left out of Brazil head coach Tite’s latest squad, the last picked before the World Cup.

Ben White withdrew from the previous England squad in June.

/ The FA via Getty Images

As with White, Jesus has been advised by his manager to respond on the pitch as they prepare for a London derby at the Brentford Community Stadium.

“I haven’t [been given a reason],” he added. “I will have to convince the players to continue to put their heads down and accept the decision of their coaches to not join their national teams and give them even more reason that it is so evident that they have to be selected.

“That’s the way the boys have reacted and nothing else.”

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