Ben White didn’t get off to the best of starts after he became Arsenal’s most expensive signing of this summer when he arrived from Brighton. On his debut he was embarrassed in the 2-0 defeat to Brentford before being ruled out by a dose of Covid, and he was being talked about as Arteta’s 50m flop.
But since then, he and Gabriel have played in three wins in a row and have only conceded once, last week against Tottenham. But he has had to contend with a long summer of speculation due to being in England’s Euros squad, and has then had to learn Arteta’s way of playing alongside his new team-mates.
But Arteta has been more than happy with his progress so far. The boss told Arsenal.com: “I’ve been very impressed with how he handles the pressure and how he’s handled the situation of coming through the Euros and paying the big fee and the composure and the calmness that he’s shown,”
“As well, the willingness to learn, to improve, because he’s realised that he is still really young, still in the development process and there are things that he can improve.
“We are already enjoying [our time] together and we have to continue like that.”
It would appear at the moment that White and Gabriel will be starting every week (if fitness allows) as the mainstay of our defence, but Arteta has not ruled out his other centre-backs out of hand. “They played really well at the weekend,” Arteta continued. “The understanding is getting better and the cohesion among the back is getting better, the more they play it will keep improving.
“We have different partnerships that will work, but certainly they played well at the weekend.”
Is Arteta hinting that they may not be starting tomorrow when Ben White returns to the Amex Stadium?
I don’t think so!