Arteta describes why Ben White is perfect fit as defender completes Arsenal move

Ben White (pic via Arsenal FC)

Ben White has officially been confirmed as a new Arsenal player after completing his transfer from fellow Premier League side Brighton.

Arsenal reached an agreement with Brighton earlier this month to sign White after a promising first full season in the Premier League. The former Leeds United loanee earned a place in England’s squad for Euro 2020 thanks to his performances. Now, another big stage awaits the 23-year-old.

White underwent a medical on Wednesday and has now put all the finishing touches to the move.

Arsenal, who had a couple of offers rejected for White before striking gold, have paid a reported £50m for his services. They have tied him down to a long-term contract.

White, who will wear the number four shirt for Arsenal, becomes their third signing of the summer after Nuno Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga.

Strengthening defence was a priority issue for the Gunners and they have now landed their top target for that task.

Manager Mikel Arteta told Arsenal’s official website: “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 Whit, Brighton yellow shirt

White joined Brighton from Southampton at the age of 16 and went on to have loan spells with Newport County and Peterborough United, prior to his crucial year at Leeds and successful return to the South Coast.

He now gets the chance to play for one of the country’s biggest clubs, even if they do not have European football on offer this year.

Arsenal will be hoping that his addition can help them get back where they belong.

Technical director Edu added: “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.”

Brighton bid farewell to White

White leaves Brighton for a club-record sale, having made 41 appearances for their first team. All but two of those came last season.

Despite only being a regular for one season, he will leave a void in the Brighton backline that will be tough to fill.

Head coach Graham Potter told Brighton’s club website: “Ben has come an incredible way in a short period of time, but we felt he had all the attributes to achieve what he has in the past few years.

“From the loan spells with Newport, Peterborough and Leeds through to his debut season in the Premier League with us last season, Ben has acquitted himself with great professional at every step of the process.

“We are incredibly proud of him and what he has achieved, and much credit must go to our academy, who have played such an important role in developing Ben from a younger age.

“On behalf of everyone at the Albion, I would like to thank him for his contribution to the club. He has been a pleasure to work with ever since I arrived here, and wish him well for the future.”

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