'Reactive situation': Arteta says he didn't want to use two Arsenal players against Leeds
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has revealed that he didn’t want to use Ben White and Emile Smith Rowe against Leeds United last night, but he was left with no choice.
The Gunners boss named a fairly strong starting lineup against Marcelo Bielsa’s side. His decision proved to be the right one as they went on to win the game quite comfortably.
White and Smith Rowe were surprise inclusions considering that they are regulars in the Premier League side.
Arteta was quizzed on why he decided to risk the two Englishmen and the Arsenal boss revealed that he didn’t want to. However, injuries to two other players forced him to go with White and Smith Rowe.
Arteta: Why Ben White and Smith Rowe started against Leeds
He said, as per Arsenal’s official website: “The thinking was that it was more a reactive situation!
“Martin (Odegaard) was going to start the game and he was injured, so we had to pick someone to play in midfield.
“The other one was Pablo (Mari), he was going to start as well but he couldn’t because he had a bug this morning and wasn’t feeling good so we had to play Ben (White).”
Ben White is proving his worth
A lot was said about White when Arsenal splashed £50 million to sign him (Sky Sports). The Englishman became the Gunners’ third most expensive player of all time, but nobody really gave him any credit when he joined the club.
However, he has been brilliant for Arsenal in recent weeks. He has formed a fantastic partnership with Gabriel Magalhaes in the heart of the Gunners’ defence and the two are yet to lose a game in the Premier League when they’ve started together.
White’s mammoth price tag still divides opinion, but what nobody can deny is the fact that he has improved Arsenal. He will be a key player for them this season and the fact that he’s still only 24 means that he’ll only get better.
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