Aston Villa star 'handed opportunity' as manager unveils Arsenal shock

Ezri Konsa has been named in Gareth Southgate's latest England squad.Ezri Konsa has been named in Gareth Southgate's latest England squad.
Ezri Konsa has been named in Gareth Southgate's latest England squad. | Getty Images
The latest Aston Villa news as Ezri Konsa is boosted by a surprise decision from an Arsenal player.

Aston Villa defender Ezri Konsa has been named in the England squad by Gareth Southgate ahead of the Three Lions' fixtures against Brazil and Belgium.

The 26-year-old, who is yet to make a senior appearance for his country, is in Southgate's plans for a second successive international break. Konsa made the November squad but didn't feature against Malta or North Macedonia.

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A controversial omission, however, is Arsenal ace Ben White. At first glance, many questioned why the Premier League leader wasn't named by Southgate when Konsa, a similar profile regarding right-sided versatility, was included.

It has now emerged, though, that White has turned down England opportunities for the foreseeable. "I spoke to him post-Qatar and there was reticence from his side," Southgate revealed. "I don't know why that is, but I respect that. I leave the door open because he's a good player.

"There is no issue between us at all, which has been mentioned in articles and I don't like that. I have to accept things are false about me, but I'm not prepared for that to happen to my coaching team. That is not the reason Ben is not with us," Southgate continued.

Ezri Konsa has been named in Gareth Southgate's latest England squad.Ezri Konsa has been named in Gareth Southgate's latest England squad.
Ezri Konsa has been named in Gareth Southgate's latest England squad. | Getty Images

Of course, Konsa has been absolutely excellent and deserves his spot in the squad but White counting himself out has certainly helped the Villa man's case, handing him an undenied opportunity. Unai Emery will be delighted to hear Ollie Watkins, one of the Premier League's best, has also received a call-up.