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Ben White IN, Ward Prowse & Jesse Lingard overlooked again

Posted by john smith on

Ben White is the man called up by Gareth Southgate to replace Trent Alexander-Arnold.

This means both James Ward Prowse and Jesse Lingard miss out again, despite both performing well in England’s friendlies.

White’s inclusion means England now have 5 central defenders, alongside the 3 right backs in the squad. The feeling is Ward Prowse or Lingard would have given Southgate and extra option in the middle of the park. Something a bit different to those already in the squad.

So why did Southgate go for White?

It has to be due to concerns over Harry Maguire’s fitness.

The Manchester United centre back missed the last 2 weeks of the season with an ankle injury and is still not in full training.

There is already a lot of talk that he will miss the group stages.

The question is if you are concerned about a players fitness a week before the tournament kicks off, why is that player in the squad at all?

The saga reminds me of the 2006 World Cup when Wayne Rooney went into it with a metatarsal injury.

He was ruled out of the first two games before playing 70 minutes in the final group stage.

In the 3 games he played, he performed poorly, failed to score and got sent off against Portugal, costing us the game.

It seems odd to keep Maguire around in the hope he might be fit and ready for the knock out stages.

It is the same with Jordan Henderson.

He is clearly not fit, with yesterday being his first match since February.

Southgate seems to have picked both players due to their “personality in camp” rather than due to the contribution they will make on the pitch. And ultimately it could be the England managers downfall.

Ward Prowse should have already been picked ahead of the injured Henderson.

The Southampton midfielder can do everything Henderson can defensively, but also has a vastly superior range of passing and is a threat from set pieces.

Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips and Ward Prowse should have been the 3 holding midfield options.

And likewise if Maguire is not fit, he should not be in the squad. White should have been selected ahead of him from day one.

That would still leave England looking for a replacement for alexander Arnold, which should have been Lingard.

The on-loan West Ham man has an infectious energy which could have been a useful option off the bench.

Instead, Southgate has picked his favourites. Players that are not fit. And I would not be surprised if England fail to make it through the group stages.

Maguire will not play a single minute.