According to reports from David Ornstein of The Athletic, Arsenal are close to signing the Brighton & Hove Albion defender Ben White. The deal could be worth up to £50 million and should provide a sigh of relief to the supporters as they look to their past miseries behind.
Arsenal Close In On Ben White
England International Courted by Mikel Arteta’s Side
Arsenal had a £45 million bid turned down by Brighton. The deal is exclusive of £5 million performance-related add-ons but Graham Potter’s side wants an upfront payment of £50 million for the former Leeds United loanee, who has been popular amongst many top clubs in recent years.
The terms have not been agreed yet, but it would not be unreasonable to think that a deal can be agreed soon as the difference in valuation is minuscule.
Anderlecht midfielder Lokonga has been approached by Atalanta – he only wants Arsenal as priority.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 24, 2021
Ben White Currently on International Duty With England
White was in the Southampton academy till 2014 before he came through Brighton’s academy and established himself in the first team last season after a successful campaign, on loan at Leeds in the Championship in 2019-20. The latter was unable to make his move permanent due to the hefty asking price. White has been on loan at other clubs, including Newport County & Peterborough United, where he impressed. The 23-year old has since earned himself two caps for the England national team and a place in the Euro 2020 squad.
How Does He Compare To The Best?
Ben White is technically gifted and can play the ball out from the back. His progressive style has helped him adapt to Graham Potter’s system instantly. Statistically, Ben White has made 3.27 progressive passes per ninety ranks in the 67th percentile. In this context, the 67th percentile represents that he has better progressive passes compared to 67% of the centre-backs across Europe. White is composed with the ball at feet, as he ranks in the 93rd percentile, for dribbles completed (0.68 per ninety). 3.05 progressive carries per ninety is a further testament to this attacking prowess.
A Tough Tackler
Aside from being a threat going forward, the Englishman has a reputation for being a tough-tackler and a good interceptor of the ball. He is industrious & has recorded 11.54 pressures per ninety in the past year. The impressive stat puts him in the 81st percentile.
Areas of Improvement-
Despite Ben White’s unique strengths, his weaknesses are hard to overlook as he has only managed 2.2 clearances per ninety. The most significant area that needs improvement is his aerial ability. White has only won 1.47 aerial duels per ninety. 1.47 aerial duels put him in the 8th percentile. As a result, the player is not refined enough to contribute to both aspects of the game (i.e. attacking & defending) at once yet.
Arsenal Close to Signing Ben White
Any deal between both clubs should result in a favourable situation for both clubs, on the surface of it. While Ben White has a lot to improve, one cannot deny his ball-playing prowess & the potential he could have at the Emirates. White could help end Arsenal’s long pursuit for a centre-back and could further act as a statement of intent from the club.
The deal is likely to take time, but there is optimism in the air.
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