Ben White returned to training with his Arsenal teammates in Dubai after leaving the England squad for the 2022 World Cup following an alleged falling-out with assistant Steve Holland.
The 25-year-old sat out the first two Group B games and missed the 3-0 win against Wales through illness, with the Football Association announcing the following day that he had left camp.
England boss Gareth Southgate has said it is important that White’s withdrawal from the World Cup for personal reasons is “respected” after a report emerged about an alleged argument with the Netherlands.
The governing body said White left for “personal reasons” and was not expected to return to the team in Qatar, asking “that the player’s privacy be respected at this time.”
the daily star reported on Thursday that the defender was unhappy in camp and was having trouble blending in with his teammates, before falling out with assistant Netherlands in front of the rest of the England team.
The story could have been an unwanted distraction ahead of Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final against France, which England lost 2-1, but Southgate brushed the subject aside when speaking on the eve of the match.
“As far as I know, the article that was written used words like ‘alleged’ and therefore whoever wrote it did not have enough conviction that it was correct,” he said.
“Ben left for personal reasons. We made it very clear and I think that especially in these times it is very important that a situation like that be respected.
White had a few days off before linking up with the Gunners, who are touring Dubai preparing for the resumption of the Premier League season as they look to retain their place at the top of the table.
Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey and US goalkeeper Matt Turner also returned to training with Mikel Arteta’s team after their respective World Cup eliminations.
Arsenal face AC Milan in a friendly on Tuesday before a warm-up at the Emirates Stadium against Juventus next Saturday, and their campaign will resume at home to West Ham on Boxing Day.
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