Ben White likely to return to England folds alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold – Rob Dorsett reporter notebook

Arsenal’s Ben White and Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold could be the headline recalls for Gareth Southgate, as he names his squad for next month’s Euro qualifiers at Wembley on Wednesday.

Southgate is likely to name a bigger squad than usual, with as many as five Manchester City players included, but all of those expected to miss England’s first game in Malta while they recover from the Champions League final.

The first international comes almost three weeks after the end of the Premier League season, and so the England manager is aware that it will be problematic to call players up late if they have already begun their summer holidays, and with the U21s preparing for June’s European Championships.

Southgate is desperate to avoid a repeat of the last England camp, when he was left with just 17 outfield players to choose from to face Ukraine because of a combination of injury, illness and suspension.

White was not in that squad, despite a brilliant season helping Arsenal challenge for the Premier League title. But Southgate has said he is still very much in England’s plans – despite him withdrawing from the World Cup in Qatar after the group stages for “personal reasons”.

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In December, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said Ben White received ‘love and support’ after leaving England’s World Cup camp early

Now, with Reece James still absent, White could well earn his place back, although England still have plenty of right-back options with Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker expected to be included.

The Manchester City contingent of Walker, John Stones, Kalvin Phillips, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden should all be on Southgate’s list, but they will join up late, and miss the first few training sessions for their country.

They could, however, come in for the second match – against North Macedonia at Old Trafford three days after the Malta trip.

Alexander-Arnold has frequently found himself behind the rest in England’s full-back stakes, but his outstanding form in his newly-discovered midfield position could be key, if he is to return to the international fold.

It was Southgate who first played the Liverpool man in wide midfield – an experiment which wasn’t a success, and one which led Jurgen Klopp to criticize the England manager’s decision.

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Gary Neville was full of praise for Trent Alexander-Arnold after his starring role in Liverpool’s 3-0 win at Leicester City

But Alexander-Arnold has flourished in a more advanced role for Liverpool of late, which could encourage Southgate to again try him further up the field.

Similarly, Stones has been a revelation in helping City challenge for the treble, encouraged to advance up the field by Pep Guardiola.

If Stones is now seen by Southgate as a midfielder rather than a centre-back, that may finally see Lewis Dunk earn the international call up his Brighton form has been demanding.

Tyrone Mings, too, is hard to overlook as he’s helped Aston Villa battle for European football. Mings missed out on the World Cup squad, and hasn’t played for England for 14 months.

Southgate will be desperate to include Jude Bellingham in this squad, even though he missed Borussia Dortmund’s last game with a knee problem.

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After his performances during the World Cup last year, Gary Neville said Jude Bellingham reminded him of Steven Gerrard and Roy Keane

Bellingham is so integral to the way England want to play, expect Southgate to include him if he is fit – even though the 19-year-old has played more matches this season (54) than any other member of the England squad.

One of Southgate’s biggest calls is who will replace Ivan Toney as the back up striker to Harry Kane. Toney was included in the England squad two months ago, despite a lengthy ban looming overhead. He has now been served an eight-month suspension for breaching the FA’s betting rules.

Both Newcastle’s Callum Wilson and Villa’s Ollie Watkins are vying for an international recall. Both have been outstanding of late, and so the question for Southgate is which one to select – or whether to opt for both.

It’s 14 goals and six assists for Watkins so far this season, 18 goals and five assists for Wilson.

Eberechi Eze says he’s in the form of his life – a claim backed up by his recent record of six goals and an assist in his last eight matches for Crystal Palace.

Whilst Southgate is expected to name his best and most long-standing players for this camp, there may yet be room for a player like Eze to win his first England call up.