Harry Maguire’s ankle injury plus form concerns about Eric Dier have led to England manager Gareth Southgate to look at other options, according to The Sun.
The Three Lions’ 26-man squad for the European Championships will be announced on Tuesday, and the boss could name a shock inclusion to solve his defensive headaches.
With two of his regulars from the Russia 2018 World Cup squad likely to miss out, Brighton & Hove Albion’s Ben White is a player who has reportedly caught Southgate’s eye the most.
The 23-year-old is in line for a surprising England call-up after impressing with Leeds United last season and hitting the ground running in the top-flight with the Seagulls.
Southgate ran the rule over White earlier this month, and he has been told not to fly off on holiday after the Premier League season ends today.
As many as six players will be told they will be on standby to cover for injuries and coronavirus issues. White will probably make that list if he misses out on the initial 26-man squad.
He first caught Southgate’s attention while on loan at Elland Road last season, and he has continued to impress after his departure.
Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa admires White, who is also capable of playing in defensive midfield.
The Argentine was keen to sign him permanently, with the club tabling a £30 million bid, but Brighton held out for £55m to dissuade them and other suitors.
He has since emerged as one of the best English centre-backs in the top-flight this term, and he appears to have overtaken Dier in Southgate’s thoughts after a fine campaign.