The international break is an ideal time for players to reconnect with their compatriots away from the club game. But Arsenal fans think that Ben White has an ulterior motive in the England camp: trying to recruit one of his team-mates, Jude Bellingham.
White was called up by manager Gareth Southgate after impressing for the Gunners this season. The centre-back was handed his first call-up during his time at Brighton to the Euro 2020 tournament, and despite not making an appearance, it seems he is now an established member of the squad with three caps to his name.
The 24-year-old played the full 90 minutes in their 2-1 victory over Switzerland on Saturday, with Luke Shaw and Harry Kane sealing a comeback win at Wembley. After putting in an assured performance, the centre-back decided to enjoy some down time at St George’s Park with Bellingham.
The pair engaged in a friendly game of table tennis and were pictured laughing and joking by cameras inside the England camp. And the sight of the two striking up a bromance together has sent Arsenal fans into a frenzy on social media.
Bellingham is reportedly wanted by Liverpool and Manchester United after becoming a regular starter for the Bundesliga outfit at the age of just 17. The former Birmingham youngster made his senior debut at the age of 16 and has been in Germany since making a £25m move in July 2020.
But with Arsenal making moves in the Premier League and closing in on a top-four finish, there are hopes among the Arsenal fanbase that they can attract players of Bellingham’s calibre.
With White spending the next week alongside his new pal, he has been told to put in a word about life in north London and convince Bellingham to make a high-profile transfer back to England. Gunners fans even dubbed their player ‘Agent White’, repeating Martin Odegaard's trick with Erling Haaland.
After spotting the image of the pair engaging in a light-hearted game of table tennis, one user wrote on Reddit: “Lure him to Arsenal Benjamin,”, while another Arsenal fan chimed in: “He’s my dream signing for that left 8 spot.”
Harold Saxon uttered his disappointment that Arsenal failed to spot his talent from a young age, writing: “Ever since he broke into the Birmingham team you could see he was special. I was gutted that we didn't put the effort into recruiting him like Dortmund did.”
HAVE YOUR SAY: Should Arsenal break the bank for Jude Bellingham or sign a striker this summer? Comment below.
There are some sticking points, however, as the box-to-box midfielder, who has six goals and 11 assists for Dortmund in all competitions this season, is rated in the £100m bracket by the German giants.
He has made clear that he is happy to stay at Signal Iduna Park and continue his development. Paying out such a fee would mean smashing Arsenal's transfer record, which was set in 2019 when they paid £72m to capture Nicolas Pepe from Lille.
And it is believed that along with Dortmund’s reluctance to sell, Mikel Arteta would rather bring in a new striker than a central midfielder this summer. That would seemingly rule out a move for Bellingham for now, but White is well-placed to influence his decision if a transfer battle should arise this summer.
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