Ben White: Declan Rice hopes Arsenal team-mate changes England decision

Arsenal team-mates Ben White and Declan Rice on club duty

England midfielder Declan Rice hopes Arsenal team-mate Ben White will change his mind and make himself available for the Three Lions.

Defender White elected not to be involved in this month's friendlies and the 26-year-old has not featured in the England squad since the 2022 World Cup.

Rice, who will mark his 50th appearance for the national team by captaining England against Belgium on Tuesday, said of White: "Hopefully, with the quality he has and can bring to this side, we can bring him back in."

England boss Gareth Southgate said he was informed by Arsenal sporting director Edu that White did not want to be considered - but added he remained unsure as to why.

White left England's World Cup squad in Qatar for personal reasons, with reports saying he was unhappy and had fallen out with assistant coach Steve Holland.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Rice said: "Ben is such a good guy and he is an unbelievable footballer.

"It is hard to know really what is going on but he has made his decision and he doesn't want to play for England at this moment in time."

Rice added: "Playing for England is the greatest honour you could ever have."

White has impressed for Premier League leaders Arsenal this season and displayed his versatility for Mikel Arteta's title hopefuls.

The fixtures against Brazil and Belgium represent England's final friendlies before Southgate selects his 23-man squad for Euro 2024, leaving White's involvement at the tournament in doubt.

"Ben has the quality to play anywhere and when you have a player like that it is really key," Rice said.

White could be an asset for England on that basis, yet his focus for now is away from international football.

"Hopefully he changes his mind," Rice said. "But if he's happy doing that, that's Ben's decision."