Arsenal signed Ben White in the July of last year for a fee of £50million to strengthen their defense. Arteta had to refresh his defense and is now completely different from what it was a few years ago. They have replaced David Luiz, Hector Bellerin, and Bernd Leno with Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu, and Aaron Ramsdale.
Ben White was one of the most expensive transfers in the history of Arsenal. Moreover, many had questioned Arsenal when the deal took place. The 24-year-old had only played one full Premier League season with Brighton before Arsenal decided to sign him. He spent one season on loan to Leeds but had become important for the Seagulls when he returned from Leeds.
Arteta was concerned over how White could adjust to the environment of a top-four team than a middle team. Arteta had concerns over the amount spent on White because of several reasons. White had no experience of playing in a top club before having played for Leeds and Brighton before. Moreover, the money was a big concern as the transfer move should not south despite paying £50million.
Ben White has now cemented his place in the starting XI of Arsenal. He has been crucial to Arsenal’s recent growth and their march towards the 4th position in the league. Doubters are no more questioning Arsenal’s investment in the 24-year-old. Mikel Arteta has helped the Englishman adapt to the new environment which has helped him to thrive in next to no time.
How has Ben White proved the doubters wrong after just one season at Arsenal?
Ben White has kept 12 clean sheets in 25 appearances in the Premier League. He makes 1.2 tackles, 1.4 interceptions while also making 3.2 clearances per game (stats via whoscored). This shows how much White does in just one game at Arsenal defensively while also attempting 2.6 long balls per game. This is exactly what Arsenal needed to level up in order to be a tor four club.
The Gunners had finished 8th in the previous two seasons and they are now giving tough fights to Manchester City and Liverpool but just losing out in the end. Arteta had mentioned that you want some high-class players who could carry the club on their shoulders if needed. However, there were doubts about White as he had never done that with a big club before.
Nevertheless, he has certainly done that for Arsenal this season and could go on to improve even more if he gets more time at the club. The impact he has had in just the first season has been immense and he could improve as the game around him improves. Although it took a lot of money, the move has certainly paid off for Arsenal as they are now enjoying the rewards for it.
Ben White is now also included in the England squad to play in the friendlies taking place in March. Arsenal’s defense is now almost fixed but there is still a bit of tweak to be done to achieve maximum success. However, Ben White remains at the heart of that defense possibly for many years to come as Arsenal tries to compete for trophies next season.
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