Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has backed Ben White to make a late bid for a place in the England squad at this year’s World Cup in Qatar, saying the defender is “ready to make that step.”
White, who has played at right back for Arsenal this season, missed out on a place in Gareth Southgate’s squad for England’s Nations League fixtures in September, but his World Cup hopes have been boosted by an injury to Manchester City defender Kyle Walker.
Arteta praised the 25-year-old’s versatility, saying he can operate as both a right back and a right-sided centre back.
“We all believed (White) had the qualities to (play fullback) and the most important step was for him to believe he could do it and to feel comfortable in that position,” Arteta told reporters ahead of Arsenal’s league game against Liverpool.
“I think Ben would be very comfortable playing the right of the back three as well as a full-back (for England). If you ask me if I believe that he’s ready to make that step, the answer is yeah, because he’s a very confident boy.
“He gives you absolutely everything, he’s always available and I think he has the courage to play under real pressure.”
Arsenal, who have won seven of eight games, go into the weekend 11 points clear of Liverpool, who are 10th with just two wins from seven matches ahead of the game at the Emirates Stadium.