Arsenal have completed a £50m transfer for Brighton centre-back Ben White as Mikel Arteta aims to rebuild the Gunners this summer after an underwhelming last campaign
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Arsenal have finally landed one of their prime summer targets after a £50m deal to sign Ben White was completed.
Mikel Arteta is aiming to evolve his Gunners side after a disastrous first full campaign in charge at the Emirates.
And promising defender White is set to slot right into the right centre-back position after becoming Arteta’s third signing of the summer.
The north London club’s interest in White has been long standing as Arteta focuses on rebuilding his squad with young talent.
The Spanish boss told the club’s website that he fits the profile of signing he is looking for and listed some attributes he can bring to the backline.
Arsenal team-mates Ben White and Bukayo Saka were on England duty at Euro 2020
“Ben is an intelligent defender who is very comfortable with the ball at his feet and his style fits perfectly with us,” he said.
“And of course, he is still young, so his age and profile fits with what we are building here. We are all looking forward to Ben being central to our future long-term plans.”
Arteta’s confidence in White is clear but his arrival did not come without the consultation of the 23-year-old’s England team-mate Bukayo Saka.
White spent time with Saka in England’s Euro 2020 camp after replacing the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold in Gareth Southgate’s squad.
And according to The Athletic, Saka gave Arteta ‘overwhelmingly’ positive feedback on the defender, giving the Gunners the green light to push ahead with the deal.
White shares mutual respect with Saka after naming the teenager as one of the players he is most excited to play with at the Emirates.
“So I had a bit with Bukayo over the summer,” White said in his first Arsenal interview.
“I hadn’t seen much of him before then and he really surprised me how talented he is.
“[I didn’t train against him a lot] but some of the other boys did. He’s so sharp and I was really surprised how good he is.”
Ben White became Arsenal’s third summer signing
Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Meanwhile, the centre-back spoke about his dialogue with Arteta and the calming presence he is hoping to bring to the Emirates.
“Obviously Arsenal speaks for itself and I spoke to the gaffer a number of times during the summer.
“I got good vibes and the way the gaffer wants to play, I think I can produce quality in this team and hopefully get Arsenal back.
He continued: “When times get hard in games, I can step up and control situations. I’m very relaxed on the ball and through that I can produce quality in bad moments of the game.”
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