The reason for Ben White’s early departure from England’s World Cup squad has been revealed.
The Arsenal defender left the camp late on 30 November due to personal reasons, the Football Association said in a statement at the time.
Despite impressing enough with the Gunners to be included in Gareth Southgate’s 26-player squad, White departed having not featured in any of England’s three group stage matches and no replacement has been called up.
The Star now claim White struggled with the group of players and his exit came after an alleged dispute with assistant manager Steve Holland in front of the squad. Their supposed altercation is said to relate to White not knowing some personal stats.
White has struggled to break into England’s starting XI under Southgate and Holland. He has made four appearances at international level since his debut last year and was then included in the Euro 2020 squad. He was an unused substitute throughout the tournament.
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Reports of squad disharmony have been present at the World Cup so far. Cristiano Ronaldo was dropped from Portugal’s starting XI for the 6-1 victory over Switzerland but later denied he had threatened to leave the camp after criticism from manager Fernando Santos.
While barely used for the Three Lions, White remains an important figure for Arsenal. He played 14 times in the Premier League before the break, contributing two assists with the Gunners topping the table.
Raheem Sterling had to leave the England camp to return home when his house was broken into, missing the last 16 victory over Senegal. However, the Chelsea winger is expected to reunite with the squad in Qatar ahead of the quarter final against France on Saturday.