NIGEL WINTERBURN left in disbelief that Gareth Southgate dropped Ben White from his latest England squad.
The Arsenal defender has played under Mikel Arteta this season, where he has started all seven Premier League games for the league leaders.
Despite being a natural centre-back, White has shown his versatility by being featured at right-back due to the nascent partnership between William Saliba and Gabriel.
But his dazzling form wasn’t enough to convince Three Lions gaffer Southgate to include White in his final squad ahead of the World Cup, which begins in November.
And his absence from the team was felt on Friday night as England lost 1-0 to Italy in their Nations League clash at the San Siro.
The result means England are relegated from Nations League A regardless of whether they beat Germany on Monday.
Speaking to SunSport on behalf of FreeSuperTips ahead of the Italy game, Arsenal legend Winterburn was asked if he was surprised White was left out.
He said of the 24-year-old international with four caps: “I’m surprised but I never try to predict what English managers will do with players.
“But I’m surprised, he was in the last squad initially. So if he was in the last England squad I don’t see why he shouldn’t be in this squad.
“Unless Gareth Southgate left him out because he wants to look at other players.
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“Ben White hasn’t played that many games for England so I think he deserves a look so it’s a surprising decision for me.
“Especially when you see some of the players in this squad and the kind of club they are creating right now.
“But we saw that with Gareth Southgate and I’ve talked about it on a number of occasions when we were talking about Jordan Pickford.
“People criticized [Jordan] Pickford and says he should be left out, but I’ve always said you have to look at it from Gareth Southgate’s point of view.
“When he came in and played for England he never did anything wrong so how do you leave him out?”
He added: “So there’s going to be a lot of debate over the next 10 days, especially if England don’t get on form in the next two games.
“England have gone down a bit in terms of performances and what we expect.
“It will be interesting to watch these games and the reaction of the fans during and maybe afterwards.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6294298/arsenal-nigel-winterburn-ben-white-england-omission/ ‘I’m surprised’ – Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn questions Ben White’s exit from Gareth Southgate’s England squad