Ex-Leeds United star Ben White handed shock England call-up ahead of Euro 2020
Former Leeds loanee added to provisional squad amid doubts over Kalvin Phillips’ fitness
Brighton defender Ben White looks set to be handed a shock England call-up today by Gareth Southgate.
The Three Lions head coach is set to name his provisional Euro 2020 squad at 1pm, with reports suggesting that White will get a last-minute call.
The defender has not represented his national side at any level previously, but The Athletic claim he will be rewarded for his good form at the Amex Stadium by getting called into Southgate’s provisional squad.
England are set to name a larger than needed party, before trimming it down to 26 on June 1.
Southgate watched White in Brighton's 1-1 home draw against West Ham earlier this month and with fitness doubts over Harry Maguire and Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips, his versatility looks an attractive option for the England boss.
White can play all across the back four, including in a three-man defence, and has also filled in as a defensive midfielder, deputising at times for Phillips when he was on loan at Leeds United in the 2019/20 season.
The 23-year-old’s performances for Leeds that season, where he helped Marcelo Bielsa’s side gain promotion to the Premier League, starting all 46 league matches and putting him firmly in the spotlight.
Leeds had hoped to sign him permanently, but Graham Potter was keen to bring him back to the Amex and make him a figurehead of his Brighton side, where he has started 36 of Albion’s 38 league matches.
Southgate has been looking at his central defensive options, with Fikayo Tomori – on loan at AC Milan from Chelsea – and Aston Villa’s highly-rated Ezri Konsa tipped as potential wildcards, but it appears White will get the nod.