Ben White faces his former side Brighton on Saturday for the first time and before the match, Mikel Arteta explained why Arsenal opted to pay so much for the defender.

London, England, 8th August 2021. Ben White R and Sambi Lokonga of Arsenal during the Pre Season Friendly match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. Picture credit should read: Paul Terry / Sportimage
London, England, 8th August 2021. Ben White R and Sambi Lokonga of Arsenal during the Pre Season Friendly match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. Picture credit should read: Paul Terry / Sportimage

Arsenal spending £50m on any player always raises an eyebrow, far more so when that money goes on a defender who has achieved nothing of note to date.

Currently valued at around 50% of what Arsenal paid for him, Ben White arrived with a lot of expectations on his shoulders to be something special.

Luckily, Mikel Arteta believes he can be even better than ‘special’.

“We bought him because we believe that he can be extraordinary,” Arteta said. “The way he has adapted to us is impressive so the potential is there. It is how he can fulfil that.

“He has to defend first and do everything we ask him to do defensively. After that we bought him because he has that ability to break lines, to progress the ball the way we want it. He has that composure and calmness to make the right decision.”

Ben White made 41 appearances for Brighton after he impressed on loan with Leeds where he made 49.

Previous articleGabriel explains why Arsenal were awful and what changed
Next articleArteta: Xhaka’s injury could have been even worse
Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.