‘Had that idea’: Mikel Arteta admits he's wanted to change £120k-a-week Arsenal man’s position since last year
The decisions certainly seem to have paid off, with the Gunners sitting five points clear at the top of the Premier League.
They’ve dropped just four points all campaign, and will want to continue that form when West Ham visit The Emirates on Boxing Day.
Arteta has stuck with the same side as often as he can this season, and each player has settled into their roles brilliantly.
However, Arteta has also explained he finally got the chance to play Ben White in a different position.
In fact, he’d wanting to play the England international at right-back for over a year.
However, he needed the right personnel to do this, and two players allowed him to make the change over the summer.
Arteta wanted to play White in a different position
Arteta was asked by Carragher about the 25-year-old’s change in role and said: “I already had that idea last year, but I didn’t think that we had somebody in that position to replace what I wanted to do.
“And the moment that [William] Saliba came in this season and I looked at the amount of development that he had [done] in the last year at Marseille, I just said, ‘we need to adapt this’.
“Straight away after that I had in my head that we had to do Oleks [Zinchenko], because in that way I could fit in exactly what I wanted for the team.”
The £120,000-a-week defender has thrived in his new role this season.
Playing on the flank with Bukayo Saka, he has slowly become a more adventurous full-back.
Arteta explained last month that White was really enjoying playing a different position.
Arsenal legend Kevin Campbell also noticed that White was getting forward more and more during the season.
With Thomas Partey shielding the defence expertly this season, it’s allowed White to contribute more going forward.
Saka’s exceptional form has made White’s life easier, and he’s defensively minded enough to help him out of position too.
White has returned from the World Cup in brilliant condition and looks set to hit the ground running when the season restarts.