Ben White has signed his Arsenal contract with the official announcement coming on Friday.
The Gunners do love a Friday afternoon announcement, and that’s what we got here after Ben White signed his contract with Arsenal, tying him to the club until 2026.
His medical has been passed and his £50m fee agreed with Brighton, and now he is an Arsenal player.
Before the announcement, we guessed that the defender would probably get the number 4 shirt at Arsenal.
White wore the number 3 at Brighton, a full-back’s number that currently adorns the back of Kieran Tierney at Arsenal. White wore that for the past two seasons after returning from loan with Leeds United, where he wore the 5.
Before that, White wore a range of shirts and has, at one time or another, sported the number 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 14, 15, 16, 28, 43 and 44 on his back.
A centreback’s number should, ideally, be a 5 or 6 but at Arsenal the 5 has just been given to Thomas Partey. The 6 is on the back of Gabriel.
Within the first team squad, 4, 8, and 11 were free, but we expect 8 to go to the new midfielder Arsenal are trying to sign.
It was always likely, then, that White would get the number 4 shirt at Arsenal, even though that’s more a midfielder’s number, and despite the message that sent William Saliba.
4 had been given to William Saliba when he arrived, but he’s been shipped off on loan again and looks destined to never make a senoior appearance for Arsenal. Per Mertesacker, meanwhile, wore the 4 during his playing days with the club, as did Martin Keown.