Ben White has explained why Arsenal have no need to pursue his former Brighton & Hove Albion team-mate Tariq Lamptey in the January transfer window.
White was part of the reshuffled Gunners side that were knocked out of the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest on Sunday. Interestingly his highly-rated team-mate Takehiro Tomiyasu did not feature in the 1-0 defeat. Instead Cedric Soares played at right-back. Tomiyasu was missing through injury and he was a big miss for the Gunners.
White and and Tomiyasu have helped to significantly improve Arsenal’s defence this season. Mikel Arteta’s men have registered nine league clean sheets with the pair at the helm.
And White believes the reliable Japan defender is the best right-back he has played with.
White told DAZN Japan: “Tomi is amazing. He’s the best right-back I’ve ever played with. He is always focused. It’s an honour to play next to him,” White said.
“Tomi does the simple things at a world-class level. He is very alert and he isn’t careless in games.
“From the beginning he’s completely understood English and speaks as well as I do.”
Brighton ‘not a selling club’
Of course White has experience of playing with 21-year-old Lamptey at Brighton. The former Chelsea man has seen his stock rise drastically over the last 18 months.
That has led to reported interest from Arsenal and Tottenham.
But Brighton boss Graham Potter has no intention of selling the speedy left-sided player.
“We’re not a selling club at all, we don’t have to sell anybody,” he said, per The Mail. “But you never know in this world, so you have to be a little bit aware of that.
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“I’d expect all of our players to be with us (at the end of the window). There’s a lot of speculation out there but nothing to report.”
But White’s comments may well be a warning to Arsenal to look elsewhere for recruits this month.
White sets record straight
The former Leeds man also set the record straight about his on-the-field link-up with Tomiyasu.
Clips begun to circulate on social media of White opting against passing to Tomiyasu in recent weeks. White though has responded to the snipers and explained it’s a tactic that Arsenal have employed purposely.
“I read the article about me not passing to Tomi,” added White.
“If you aren’t familiar with football you might not understand but opponents target passes to the right-back when they press.
“If I play the ball to Tomi he will be targeted and he might be in a situation where he has no options.
“It’s not that I don’t want to pass to Tomi but it is the best way to build up our play so that it leads to the final third.”