Declan Rice reveals plans to help Ben White return to England squad

Declan Rice has admitted he is hoping Arsenal teammate Ben White returns to the England national team setup in the near future.

White was not named in the Three Lions’ squad for their March internationals after Arsenal sporting director Edu phoned FA technical director John McDermott to inform him the defender did not want to be considered for selection. It was later reported White had fallen out with assistant manager Steve Holland.

At a press conference ahead of Tuesday’s friendly with Belgium, Rice was asked about the ongoing dispute between White and the national team.

Ben WhiteBen White

White last played for England in 2022 / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

“Obviously, Ben, if you know him as a person and as a player like I do, he’s such a good guy. He’s such a good guy and he’s an unbelievable footballer,” Rice said.

“Gareth [Southgate] dealt with it this week, spoke about it. We’ve obviously not been going into the training grounds, so I haven’t spoken to Ben on a one-to-one level about it.

“It’s hard to know, really, what’s going on. Ben made this decision. Obviously he doesn’t want to play for England at this moment in time.

“Gareth has had a conversation with him about it and there’s not much else I can really say to him.

“Playing for England is the greatest honour you could ever have. So hopefully, with the quality that he has and the quality he can bring to this side, we can get him back in.”

White has been capped four times by England and was named in their squads for both Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup, though it is at the latter where he is said to have disputed with Holland and sent home from the tournament.


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