5 Players Who Declined International Call Ups After Arsenal’s Ben White Rejected England’s Call

5 Players Who Declined International Call Ups After Arsenal’s Ben White Rejected England’s Call

Elijah Odetokun
updated at March 17, 2024 at 5:05 AM
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Ben White logo
B.White
Arsenal logoDEngland logo
Jude Bellingham logo
J.Bellingham
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Ryan Gravenberch logo
R.Gravenberch
Liverpool logoMNetherlands logo
E. Nketiah
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Marco Verratti logo
M. Verratti
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Adrien Rabiot logo
A. Rabiot
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England
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  • Arsenal's Ben White is missing from the latest England national team squad
  • Three Lions manager, Gareth Southgate, confirmed the player made a choice
  • White also withdrew from the 2022 World Cup side and returned to England

Gareth Southgate has released the England national team’s squad list for the March international break, with friendly games coming up against Brazil and Belgium.

Arsenal defender, Ben White, is a notable omission from the squad despite Reece James, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Kieran Trippier being unavailable due to injuries.

Ben White, Jude Bellingham, England, Doha, Qatar, 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Ben White and Jude Bellingham on the England team bus at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Photo by Mike Hewitt.
Source: Getty Images

Southgate, in his press conference, confirmed that it was the player who had left the national team camp in Qatar who had decided to be left out again.

Otherwise, his brilliant form would have been rewarded with a deserved inclusion.

"We had a call from Edu last week saying Ben didn't want to be considered for England squads at the moment. I spoke to him post-Qatar, and there was reticence from his side. I don't know why that is, but I respect that. I leave the door open because he's a good player," he said via Talksport.

Sports Brief looks at six players who recently turned down national team invitations.

Players who rejected international call-ups

1. Jude Bellingham

Per Extra Time Talk, during his days at Borussia Dortmund, the Real Madrid star turned down the October 2021 international windows invitation to join the English team, citing congested fixtures as his reason. The decision was well received by the manager, and he went on to play a crucial part in the 2022 World Cup campaign.

2. Ryan Gravenberch

Gravenberch turned down an invitation to join the Netherlands U21 team, having just completed a move to Liverpool from Bayern Munich and wanting to settle in. Ronald Koeman was displeased with the decision, and the player has not been called up since then.

3. Marco Verratti

Verratti was a crucial member of the Italy national team under Roberto Mancini. He turned down the first invite of the season by new boss, Luciano Spalletti, as he was trying to seal a move away from Paris Saint-Germain. He has not returned to the squad since.

4. Adrien Rabiot

Rabiot was placed on the standby list by Didier Deschamps ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia but swiftly rejected this. He felt he should have made the final squad and received criticism for his actions. The incident did not dent his international career.

5. Eddie Nketiah

The Arsenal forward turned down the opportunity to represent Ghana at the 2022 FIFA World Cup while waiting for a call-up to the Three Lions. He has only featured in 17 minutes of action for England and can still reconsider his international allegiance.

Why White left England camp in Qatar

Sports Brief previously reported on why White left England camp in Qatar during the World Cup and returned to England, citing personal reasons for his departure.

It was reported by multiple English tabloids that he had a bust-up with the assistant manager, Steve Holland, before a 0-0 draw with the United States in the group stage.

Authors
Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.