Arsenal and England defender Ben White is believed to have returned home early from the Three Lions World Cup base in Qatar after a disagreement with Southgate’s assistant Steve Holland.
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White hadn’t played any game for his nation at the tournament before leaving the Al Wakrah training base last week, with the Football Association citing personal reasons as the explanation behind his exit just three games in.
But, it has since been reported by the Daily Star that White’s exit stems from his fall-out with a key member of the coaching staff as well as struggling to integrate into the squad off the pitch, leaving him unhappy in Qatar as a result.
The moment that sealed White’s fate came when he came to verbal blows with Holland in full view of the rest of the squad, with the ill-feeling between the two reported to have come to a head after the Arsenal star arrived for a team meeting before the draw against the USA not knowing key statistics relating to his performance in training.
In a similar vein, Holland is also believed to have been let down by White’s lack of knowledge on the USA’s strengths and weaknesses.
As a result, a mutual decision was made to release White from the team during what was his first ever World Cup, though his return of zero minutes will disappoint the defender who has been in good form for his club this term.
Having failed to get off the bench for the matches against Iran and the USA, White was not named in the squad for the 3-0 victory over Wales due to illness.
The Arsenal fan-favourite is not the only England player to return home to London from the tournament, Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling also briefly touched back down on English soil after his family home was burgled.
But, the Chelsea forward was only back briefly and has returned to Qatar where he is expected to line-up on the bench for England’s quarter final game against France on Saturday.
White will not be coming back into the international fold for the rest of the World Cup in Qatar and it remains to be seen if and when he’ll don the England shirt again soon.