Arteta says Arsenal staff truly believe 'impressive' 23-year-old can become 'extraordinary'
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has delivered his verdict on Ben White ahead of the Englishman’s return to Brighton this evening.
The 23-year-old became Arsenal’s most expensive defender ever. It was clear to everyone that he was Arteta’s priority target in the summer window, and the Gunners boss has now explained why he decided that White was worth the big bucks.
Arteta has claimed that he and his staff signed White because they believe he can become ‘extraordinary’. The Arsenal boss says that the former Brighton man isn’t really mature yet because of his lack of top-level experience, but what he has done so far has been really impressive.
Arteta: We believe Ben White can become extraordinary
The Spaniard said, as per The Evening Standard: “We bought him because we believe that he can be extraordinary.
“He doesn’t have that much experience in the league still. He has experience with Leeds, and the experience he had with Brighton for a year, so he is not mature in that sense.
“But, he has already shown his qualities and what he can do and he has been selected for the national team, which is not a coincidence. And, the way he has adapted to us, I think is impressive. So, the potential is there. Again, it is how he can fulfil that and (how we can) help him to do so.
“He [White] knows he will be asked questions and in this league for sure because it is one of the most demanding positions to play and at the moment he is doing it. He has to defend first and everything we ask him to do defensively to do it, and that’s his biggest task.
“After that, we bought him because he has that ability to break lines, to progress the ball the way we want it. He has that composure and calmness to make the right decision. But, first of all, he needs to defend and I think he is doing that really, really well.”
White had a rough start to his Arsenal career on the opening day of this season’s Premier League. He tested positive for the infamous virus a few days after, and that forced him away from the side for a while.
However, since his return, he has been brilliant. White and Gabriel have formed a tremendous partnership at the back and Arsenal have conceded just once when the two of them have started together. That should give Arteta a ton of confidence looking ahead to the future.