Breaking: England defender leaves World Cup training camp and is not expected to return

An official statement cited personal reasons

Southgate England

England defender Ben White has left the England training camp following his side’s 3-0 win over Wales due to personal reasons, and is not expected to return to rejoin his teammates for the knockout stages.

The Arsenal full-back, who was called up for the first time since June when Gareth Southgate named him in his 26-man-squad for the tournament, was an unused substitute against Iran, and was not among the squad for their final showdown with Wales, with Gareth Southgate revealing that the 24-year-old was suffering from illness.

And it has since emerged that the defender will likely play no part in the showpiece event, having not played a minute to date, and now departing the camp.

“Ben White has left England’s training base in Al Wakrah and returned home for personal reasons”, an official statement confirmed.

“The Arsenal defender is not expected to return to the squad for the remainder of the tournament. We ask that the player’s privacy is respected at this moment in time.”

England cannot call up a replacement, leaving them a man short in their squad, though to date the undisputed centre-back pairing for Southgate has been John Stones and Harry Maguire, with both starting all three group games.

The return of Kyle Walker also strengthens his hand, with White tipped to play in the right centre-back role that Walker normally occupies in a back three if needed. Meanwhile, Eric Dier and Conor Coady are also both options in the heart of defence for Southgate if needed.

The Three Lions face Senegal in their last 16 tie on Sunday at 7pm.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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