Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail reports that there are now growing fears Reece James will miss the World Cup. The Chelsea right-back’s injury was initially set to miss a short period of action, but the damage is more serious than first feared.
Surgery is now reportedly a possibility for James, with England’s World Cup campaign kicking off in just over five weeks.
Kyle Walker recently underwent surgery on a groin issue, and he’s also currently listed as a doubt for the World Cup.
Then there’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, who isn’t as seriously injured as the other two but is expected to miss at least a couple of weeks of action.
So from Gareth Southgate’s last England squad, three of the four right-backs are currently injured, and two of the three are serious doubts for the World Cup.
The only exception is Kieran Trippier, who didn’t play at all over the last break despite his call-up.
Having said all that, Southgate has an excellent alternative option – Ben White.
White has been in fantastic form for Arsenal. He’s comfortable at both centre-back and right-back, and he can play in a back three, having done so throughout his time at Brighton.
The 25-year-old is fully fit and playing as regularly as Southgate could possibly hope for. What’s more, the team he’s playing for are top of the league and full of confidence.
On top of all that, White runs the right-hand side with Bukayo Saka, another England regular. Whatever chemistry they build up over the next month with Arsenal can transfer straight into the right-hand side for England.
It seems an easy choice to include White in England’s squad next month. But it’s not up to us, and we’ll see what Southgate decides for his provisional squad on October 20th.