Why Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale has been named in England squad as Ben White omission explained – Football.London

Aaron Ramsdale has adapted well to life at Arsenal, England manager Gareth Southgate said after the goalkeeper was named in a 23-man squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary.

The summer signing, who was part of the extended group for the European Championship while still a Sheffield United player, takes the place of Burnley’s Nick Pope as reward for his form so far this season.

Southgate feels that he has dealt with the increased expectation of playing for one of the country’s biggest clubs well and, in particular, has been impressed by the comfort in which he has been playing the ball out from the back.

“Aaron was with us all summer so we had an opportunity to work with him for a long period of time and get to understand his strengths,” the national team manager said. “Nick is still coming back from the injury he had a little bit and Aaron is just in a better vein of form at the moment.

“I think the move to a club with high expectation, a style where he is asked to build with his feet from the back, with which he is coping with really well, is an important factor for us when I look at the biggest matches in particular. He has really adapted well to that move. His performances this season have been full of confidence.”

Defender Ben White had been tipped for a recall having done well in recent appearances for Mikel Arteta’s side, including Sunday’s North London Derby win against Tottenham Hotspur, but Fikayo Tomori, the Milan centre back formerly of Chelsea, has got the nod instead.

“I think Ben performed well against Tottenham at the weekend,” Southgate said. “I think he’s still settling into a new club but Sunday’s performance showed good signs. We obviously liked what we saw to pick him ahead of the summer.

“He’s definitely a player we’re monitoring closely. He’s heading in a good direction. He’s got a lot of attributes we like. There are areas of his game, we know, we’ve talked about, we think he can improve. But yeah, he would have been very close to this squad as well.”



Ben White's passing ability was very impressive in Arsenal's victory over Tottenham. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Ben White’s passing ability was very impressive in Arsenal’s victory over Tottenham. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Emile Smith Rowe is also being closely watched and he is set to be in the under-21 squad named by Lee Carsley on Friday morning having missed their win over Kosovo last month due to illness.

Mason Greenwood and Jude Bellingham were not included in the senior team this time around because Southgate is wary of overloading young players and he poured water on the idea of fast-tracking anymore from the underage setup in the near future.

“He is a player we like a lot and he was very close to making this squad,” Southgate added. “We have brought a lot of youngsters up and that’s not always straight forward. Sometimes you want to bring them with the seniors and then they need to go back with the Under-21s.

“At this moment in time, unless we need to, I don’t want to bring any more players from the under-21s. They have to earn that right over a longer period. This is a fairly settled squad.

“We know that some players aren’t playing as often as we would ideally like, but we’re only six or seven games into the season. So I’m trying to respect the squad that got us to the final, not make too many changes to that, make sure that young players really have to earn the right to come in.

“Emile, unfortunately, wasn’t able to play with the Under-21s last time and had to go back. So I thought his performance against Tottenham was very good. We know how he finished last season as well. I can only say he’s a player we like and he’s very close.”

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