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‘Really enjoying it’: Mikel Arteta says £120k-a-week Arsenal man is so happy in his new role this season
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

‘Really enjoying it’: Mikel Arteta says £120k-a-week Arsenal man is so happy in his new role this season

Arsenal go into their final game before the World Cup break knowing a win will keep them top of the league at Christmas.

Mikel Arteta couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season, despite their midweek elimination from the Carabao Cup.

Arteta was talking to the press, via Football London, ahead of this evening’s trip to Wolves.

He delivered a positive injury update, stating that there’s no new issues within the squad.

Emile Smith Rowe will still be unavailable, however Mohamed Elneny returned to the starting line-up against Brighton on Wednesday.

Arteta was asked about some of his players heading to Qatar next week.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

In particular, he was asked about English defender Ben White, who returned to Gareth Southgate’s squad just in time for his second major tournament.

White didn’t play a minute during last season’s run to the European Championship final.

In fact, he didn’t even make the bench for the knockout stages.

He was also left out of Southgate’s last two squads, but has fought his way into the fold with some excellent performances.

One factor that may have influenced the England manager is his shift to full-back this season.

And Arteta admitted, White is really enjoying playing at right-back as he continues to become an excellent, versatile defender.

White enjoying playing right-back – Arteta

Asked how happy White was to be playing out wide this season, Arteta said: “We discussed that. Every player needs some time and to understand the reasons why.

“I think he’s really enjoying it, it brings him other opportunities.

“Being a versatile player is something rare in this world and I think he has the possibilities to fulfil that.”

The £120k-a-week Arsenal man on paper looks like a fantastic option for England.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

His versatility means he could play as a centre-back in a back-three or four-man defence.

He could also play at right-back for England, although playing as a wing-back would be unfamiliar to White.

White has been seen overlapping Bukayo Saka more and more in recent games which could see him played in a more advanced role.

White appears to be enjoying playing right-back, especially as he’s started every Premier League in that role.

He’s been impressing Arteta in training all season too, and that application off the pitch will serve him well with England too.

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