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'He was just Cruyffing centre-forwards': Arsenal reportedly closing in on 'top, top quality' player

Arsenal are reportedly closing in on the transfer of Ben White, a defender who is “top, top quality”.

According to Sky Sports, the Gunners are in advanced talks with Brighton over the 23-year-old.

Arsenal apparently saw a £40m bid rejected last week, but could now possibly land White for £50m.

Though Brighton haven’t made their valuation public, club owner Tony Bloom reportedly won’t stand in his way – if Arsenal meet White’s price.

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Arsenal transfer talk: Eyeing one of England’s top talents?

In the space of two years, White went from a talented prospect at a modest club to one of English football’s rising superstars.

When he joined Leeds on loan in 2019, he had never played in the top two divisions of English football.

Despite his lack of top-level experience, White was sensational for Leeds.

He featured in every one of their Championship games and helped them win the title.

Unsurprisingly, Leeds wanted to buy him following their promotion to the Premier League.

However, they were ultimately unsuccessful as White penned a new deal at Brighton.

The Englishman has since become a regular for the Seagulls, making 36 Premier League appearances last term.

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“Probably win the league”

Leeds defender Luke Ayling can’t praise his former teammate highly enough.

In March, he didn’t just tip White for success, but he predicted that he’d win the Premier League one day.

“(White is) top, top quality,” Ayling told Sky Sports.

“He showed mental strength to come in here as a lad that nobody knew about.

“I think if you had asked the lads, they would have said they didn’t really know who Ben White was – and step into Pontus (Jansson)’s shoes and hit the ground running.

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“I was injured for our first game, against Bristol City, so I watched it on TV and he was just Cruyffing centre-forwards, so relaxed.

“A real, real quality player with a strong mentality. The sky’s the limit for him.

“I’ve got no doubt that he’ll play for England soon and play many games for them.

“He’ll probably go to one of the top teams in England and probably win the league and that because he’s that good, I think.”

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