Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville disagree over Arsenal star Ben White | Football

Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville discussed Ben White’s England future (Picture: YouTube)

Gary Neville believes Arsenal’s Ben White would start in central defence for England at Euro 2024 – if he made himself available to Gareth Southgate.

It is not an opinion shared by Jamie Carragher, who was surprised by Neville’s claim while defending White’s decision to step away from international football.

White asked not to be considered for England’s recent friendlies against Brazil and Belgium despite enjoying another impressive season with Premier League leaders Arsenal.

It was recently revealed that White had an altercation with Southgate’s assistant Steve Holland during the Qatar World Cup before ultimately deciding to leave the Three Lions squad.

‘The Ben White situation intrigues me,’ former Manchester United captain Neville said on The Overlap. ‘We were all in Qatar last year and Ben White obviously went home.

‘It was a difficult because the reason cited at the time was mental health. Everyone obviously supported Ben over that and hoped he was well.

‘But two things happened. The first was that the news of the argument broke, we all knew about it.

The Arsenal star made himself available for England's recent friendlies

The Arsenal star made himself available for England’s recent friendlies (Picture: Getty)

‘And the next thing was, a week later, he was pictured on a bike in Dubai at an Arsenal camp. So if he was home sick and struggling… something wasn’t quite right.’

Carragher believes he was in a ‘similar situation’ as White during his England career as both were deemed ‘fourth or fifth choice’.

Given White is behind the likes of Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Reece James and Trent Alexander-Arnold in England’s right-back pecking order, Carragher does not believe his absence is a ‘huge story’.

But Neville sees White as a potential England starter during this summer’s Euros in Germany at centre-back, the position he predominantly played at Brighton before his move to Arsenal.

Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville on Ben White’s England future:

JC: ‘I was in a similar situation when I played for England. From what we know about the argument, I don’t think it was the end of the world from both sides.

‘I don’t think it should mean that someone doesn’t play again. But I think he always felt he was fourth or fifth choice and I had that feeling when I went away with England, and rightly so, because I was fourth or fifth choice.

‘And I think it’s right that Ben is viewed that way too because he’s not better than Trent, Reece James, Walker or Trippier despite doing a great job for Arsenal.

‘I don’t think that should be made into a huge story because, really, he’s not going to play anyway.’

GN: ‘He will now though. Gareth [Southgate] would play him centre-back I think.’ 

JC: ‘I don’t think so.’

GN: ‘Oh, he would.’

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JC: ‘He’s not even playing centre-back for his club.’

GN: ‘You watch those [England] defenders that played [against Belgium] and Ben White is playing.’

JC: ‘It’s easy to say that now but he doesn’t play centre-back for his club and you’re not going to play John Stones and Ben White together as centre-backs. But as I said I think he’s doing brilliant for Arsenal.

‘He’s probably thinking he can spend this international break relaxing and getting ready for the rest of the season. Good luck to him.’

Having sat out of England’s fixtures during this international break, White will return to action in Arsenal’s huge Premier League title clash against Manchester City on Sunday.

The Gunners sit top of the table, level on points with Liverpool, as they prepare to visit the Etihad Stadium and face a Man City side bidding for their fourth successive league title.

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