Leeds United helped prepare Ben White for England step-up

Ben White is having to step up to another level of training after his surprise call-up to the England squad for the European Championships, but he showed at Leeds United he can take it in his stride.

Despite having consistently been one of the Premier League's best defenders at Brighton and Hove Albion this season, excelling in midfield too, and despite much talk that England manager Gareth Southgate was even scouting him when he was playing Championship football on loan at Leeds in 2018-19, White's addition to the national squad was unexpected because he was uncapped until last week's friendlies at Middlesbrough.

Originally named in the wider 33-man squad, he was added to the final 26 when Trent Alexander-Arnold pulled out with a thigh injury.

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White has been struck by the "sharpness" of training but having played in all four divisions of the Football League with previous loans at Newport County and Peterborough United, it is not something he finds daunting.

CALL-UP: Ben White was added to the England squad after Trent Alexander-Arnold's injury

"The last week has been very different to what I'm used to," he admitted. "At club level you get your rest days but this week has been really tough.

"It shows the level all these players are at and the level I need to get to.

"I've played in all the leagues and before each league I was wondering if I could step up but year after year I've managed to do it. It's just another one of them."

At Leeds White admitted coach Marcelo Bielsa's notorious "Muderball" sessions, where the intensity is cranked up to the maximum and the ball essentially never goes out of play, was a shock to the system at first, but he went on to be the club's young player of the season.

"Leeds was really tough - long days, long training, but it's very different to club level (here)," said the 23-year-old. "The sharpness of all the players here is definitely higher. It's something I'm going to have to adapt to and get used to."

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