Declan Rice hoping to get Arsenal teammate Ben White to make England U-Turn

Declan Rice has revealed he will try to convince Arsenal teammate Ben White to return to the England fold.

England boss Gareth Southgate revealed earlier this month that Arsenal director Edu had contacted him to tell him that White did not want to be considered for international selection.

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Rice opened up about how he hoped to convince White to return to EnglandCredit: Getty

It follows his decision to leave the Qatar World Cup in the winter of 2022 for ‘personal reasons’, having not played for England since.

The 26-year-old has starred for Arsenal this season where he is a key player for Mikel Arteta, whose side are topping the Premier League table at the moment.

With his England future looking bleak, White’s teammate Rice has admitted he will do what he can to change his mind.

“When I go back and I’ll speak to him and see,” Rice told talkSPORT at a press conference.

“But hopefully he does change his mind on that because having a player like that – in the squad who’s performing well in the Premier League – it’d be a great addition to the (England) squad.”

White recently signed a new contract with Arsenal and has been praised for his versatility, being able to operate across the defensive back line.

Reports emerged that White and England coach Steve Holland clashed at Qatar which led to the defender leaving the camp.

“The only thing I can say is, it’s Ben’s life. It’s Ben’s decision,” added Rice.

Rice and White and good pals at Arsenal

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Rice and White and good pals at ArsenalCredit: Getty
White asked to not be part of the England squad this month

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White asked to not be part of the England squad this monthCredit: Getty

“We can’t argue with him with what he wants to do. Of course, there’s always going to be people writing stuff, having their opinions on what they think.

“But at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is what he thinks and at this moment in time, he obviously doesn’t want to play for England.

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“I really hope he does (change his mind), because I see him every day, he is such a good character. For people that don’t know, such a good character, very composed, very level-headed.

“When he’s on a football pitch, he will do anything to win but also I think for England as well, he can play as a centre-back and at right-back, as in inverted full-back. Now he’s a really key tool that we could have.

“So I hope he changes his mind. Obviously, at this moment in time, he doesn’t feel like he wants that. So that I think is his decision.

“I know him and Gareth spoke internally about it. So I don’t know too much of the ins and outs, but I just hope he changes his mind.

“If you know him as a person and as a player like I do, he’s such a good guy. He’s such a good guy and he’s an unbelievable footballer.

“Playing for England is the greatest honour you could ever have. So hopefully, with the quality that he has and the quality he can bring to this side, we can get him back in.”



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