Arsenal are keen on signing Brighton & Hove Albion centre-back Ben White in the summer to shore up their defence. White’s stock has risen significantly over the last season as he has impressed in his first full campaign in the Premier League.
As per Daily Mail, Arsenal are monitoring Ben White, who is valued at around £50 million by Brighton. The Seagulls feel that the price tag would ward off interest from not just Arsenal but also Manchester United and Liverpool. The 23-year-old had impressed for Leeds United when he was on loan with the Whites in the 2019-20 season, and they even placed a bid of £25 million to obtain his services, but it was rejected by Brighton.
White’s current contract with Brighton will expire in 2024. The defender was called up to the England national team for Euro 2020 as a replacement for the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Ben White: An able replacement for David Luiz?
Arsenal will have to strengthen their defence in the summer as a few first-team players could leave. One player who is surely set to leave the Gunners is experienced centre-back David Luiz, whose two-year spell with the club is set to come to an end on the expiry of his contract. Luiz played 73 times in all competitions in two seasons with the Gunners. The North London club will need a defender to pair with Gabriel, Pablo Mari or Rob Holding at the back for next season.
Ben White could be a solid addition to the Gunners as he is a player that has the qualities that manager Mikel Arteta requires in his defenders. The Brighton defender is quick, which allows him to make key interceptions and tackles at the back. He averaged 1.7 interceptions and 1.4 tackles per game in the Premier League in the recently concluded season.
Ben White is superb at passing from the back and is a defender who is comfortable and confident with the ball at his feet. He also likes to drive out of his own box with the ball to create attacks, which he could do a lot for Brighton as they played three centre-backs, affording him the luxury to go ahead and express himself. White is also adept at playing in midfield or even as a right-back.
One of the few issues that Arsenal will have to be wary about is that White has excelled in a three-man defence in the league, which they didn’t use in the second half of the season. A fee of £50 million also seems excessive for a player who has had very little experience in the English top-flight. Ben White could be a good signing if he can adapt to playing alongside just one centre-back and if the Gunners can negotiate for a lesser fee than what Brighton are demanding.
White is an England international and has impressed for his country recently and is just 23 years of age which means that he has scope for improvement. This will be a difficult decision for Arsenal given his reported transfer fee but Arteta will want his club to complete this signing as it could solve a long-standing problem for the club.