OFFICIAL: Ben White signs for Arsenal

Akash Vaishnav
By Akash Vaishnav
6 Min Read

Arsenal have officially completed the transfer of Ben White from Brighton & Hove Albion. Ben White recently completed his Arsenal medical and the Gunners took few days to announce the signing due to some paperwork and PR. 

Arsenal have signed the 23-year-old for £50 million in a four-year deal that will keep the youngster till the summer of 2025. This marks Arsenal’s third most expensive signing in their history. The Gunners signed Nicolas Pepe for £72 million and Pierre-Emrick Aubameyang for £57.38 million.

Arsenal were interested in signing Ben White despite having William Saliba in their ranks. Though, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta feels that Willam Saliba is not yet ready for Premier League football just yet owing to his lack of minutes over the last couple of years, which is why he was sent back on loan to the Ligue 1 side Marseille.

Mikel Arteta was reportedly interested in bringing a young Premier League proven centre-back and that is why Arsenal moved for Ben White who is highly regarded at Brighton.

The 6 ft defender started his football career at Southampton but he was released by the Saints in 2014. Ben White subsequently then joined Brighton where he trained at their academy. He made his first professional debut against Colchester in a Cup match on August 9 in 2016. The England International was then moved on loan to Newport County in 2017. He also played for Peterborough United and Leeds United on loan in the past.

Ben White did sign a new five-year contract at Brighton at the beginning of the last season but due to the interest of a huge club like Arsenal, he chose to leave the Seagulls. Even Brighton did not create any sort of pressure on Ben White to stay since their asking price of £50 million has been smoothly met by Arsenal.

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Arsenal official website confirmed Ben White’s arrival as:

“Ben White has joined us from Brighton & Hove Albion on a long-term contract.

The 23-year-old defender, who has proved to be one of the Premier League’s finest young prospects, joins us after spending the summer as part of the England squad at the Euros.

Ben spent the 2019/20 season on loan at Leeds United, where he was an ever-present in their Championship-winning side, helping them win promotion back to the Premier League after a 16-year absence. He returned to the south coast last season, becoming a key member of Brighton’s Premier League side.

Ben started his youth career at Southampton before joining Brighton as a 16-year-old, where he enjoyed rapid progress, making his first-team debut as an 18-year-old. During his time at Brighton, as well as the Championship-winning spell with Leeds, Ben also spent successful loan spells with Newport County and Peterborough United.

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Technical director Edu said: “Ben has been a key target this summer. He has so many qualities which make us so excited he’s joining us. Ben’s a young English player with a great future. He’s very strong defensively, good on the ball with a great passing range. We’re delighted Ben’s signed and we look forward to him growing with us.”

Mikel Arteta said: “Ben was a top target for us and it’s great that we’ve completed his signing. Ben has been educated with two very good clubs, Brighton and Leeds, in recent seasons. He has benefitted well from two very good coaching set-ups and has shown with both Brighton and on loan with Leeds what a strong talent he is.

“Ben is an intelligent defender who is very comfortable with the ball at his feet and his style fits perfectly with us. 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.

Ben will wear the No 4 shirt and will immediately join up with his new team-mates ahead of The Mind Series friendly match at home to Chelsea on Sunday.

Everyone at Arsenal welcomes Ben to the club.”

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Despite Arsenal desperately requiring a creative midfielder, the Gunners choose to splash the cash on a defender. Mikel Arteta will be expecting Ben White to hit the ground running. Though Arsenal have fairly improved their defense under Mikel Arteta there is still some room for improvement and the club will be hoping for the expensive signing to pay off and further improve Arsenal’s defense.

Despite all the talks and comparisons with Manchester United and their acquisition of Raphaël Varane, this one is a very under-rated transfer this summer as Arsenal are getting a profile that Mikel is craving for and which suits them right.

MUST READ: Ben White and William Saliba, both good options for Arsenal, but how do they compare with each other?

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