Is Ben White Arsenal’s new David Luiz? (Opinion)

Ben White has quickly established himself as a regular at the heart of the Arsenal defence, but does he bear resemblances with David Luiz?

The Brazilian left the club this summer at the end of his previous contract, eventually agreeing to return to his homeland after failing to find a European challenge that enticed him.

During his time in north London however, he was somewhat of a Jekyll and Hyde type, seeming to be be the hero or villain in the side for spells.

Luiz was known for some major errors, with his mistakes proving costly on a number of occasions, while his role in the side continued to be an important one, with his ability to help us transition from defence into attack at speed, with his eye for a long pass amongst the best Iโ€™ve seen.

Ben White has now taken his role at RCB after his move from Brighton this summer, and I can already sense that he is another risk-taker who could quickly come under scrutiny.

While his performance against Brentford on his debut was one to be forgotten, it was more his strength and aerial prowess that was in question, but while he was in top form this weekend, he did show is willingness to carry the ball well out of position, and while he got away with it this time around, he may not be so lucky another time.

Was White signed to take those risks and prove to be the first point of attack? Do we need more or less risks taken from defence? Can you see any other similarities between him and Luiz?


Tags ben white David Luiz


  1. I believe he’ll be a better defender than Luiz in terms of concentration…
    Luiz is an amazing long ball player but he could just switch off lose concentration do a mad tackle get sent off.
    Ben White appears more composed in those departments but only time will tell we will know more about him at the end of season.
    I was against his signing but he is starting to win me over…

  2. Time will tell if it made more sense to invest so heavily in a CB who appears to be quite average, defensively-speaking, instead of using those monies for more pressing needs and allowing the more defensive-minded Saliba to return to North London…with Holding here to provide cover, I would have gone the latter route, as I don’t think White offers enough to justify the price tag or the potential loss of Saliba, which I believe is what will happen…I would rather have had a more reliable defensive CB, then simply invested those funds on someone who plays farther up the pitch, who could have contributed infinitely more from an offensive capacity…now if we’re actually intending to adopt a radically different tactical model, I would definitely have a rethink, but as it stands, minus a few outlier performances, I’m still inclined to question this course of action

  3. We played Spurs at just the right time, and we played Villa at the right time, so White’s defensive prowess was not really tested.

    We looked good in both games, due manly to our forwards I think.

    We play Leicester in the EPL next week. I will delay my judgment on just how far we (and White) have progressed until I see us beat them at their ground.

  4. Personally I think Gabriel is the better defender between the two, and we never got to see if Saliba was better or not either.

    White is great technically for a CB, but not yet proven as a solid defender; let’s hold off until the end of the season.

    Great with long balls like Luiz and has switched off earlier in the season ball watching. Other than that, Luiz is a champion with trophies, White is young so let’s not co pare the 2 until White has time to build a resume’.

  5. Tomy improved Ben and Gabriel(Ramasdale too) . The defence wins most aerial duels . The best thing about Arsenal FC is the defence at the moment.
    The pressing issue now is what Tierney and Tavares will bring to contribute to the nearly compact defence

    1. kori Let’s see White against a top team first before we make comparisons one swallow does not make a summer

  6. That clip above show him doing good dribbling and blocking. it did not show his poor man marking and backing off in the game before, that is the crystal palace game where he backed off allowing Eduardo space and time to score. White have a long way to go to become a top world class defender,but with the right manager and improvement he can get there.

  7. Watching the game between Marseille and PSG yesterday showed that someone was not telling the truth about Saliba, Neymar, Messi, Mbappe, and Dimaria could not score.. Then Ben White purchase was a luxury. Comparing him to Luiz is awkward even with the mistakes of David Luiz.

    1. Saliba gave a masterclass against PSG,the boy is not only a beast but also great with the ball, against PSG he showed his full repertoire,tackling,speed, distribution (over 90% accuracy),progressing/carrying the ball forwards (very similar to Luiz/VVD),aerial prowess,his best performance for l’OM so far, himself described it as his best ever.gutted away fans were not allowed and was planning to go.

  8. Saliba has just kept a clean sheet against PSG. If that’s not a test what is? Regarding Ben White I have yet to see what all the money or fuss is about Defensively he is doing the same things that Holding also did pretty well. So far White has been spared embarrassment because he also has Tomiyasu besides him who also plays like a centre half. This will not always be a positive because the Japanese lad despite being an honest pro is limited in his ability to overlap and provide any attacking threat.

  9. What do you mean by The New Luiz?
    Blanders and brain farts?
    Or good with ball carrying for a CB?

    Or a mixture of both?

    1. With reference to Experience David Luiz is miles apart from B White. But in overall play White is better than Luiz. He is quicker and a bit more technical and age is on his side to improve. He is not also given to costly fouls in the box or ie costly red cards like D. Luiz .

  10. Luiz better in duels, White is quicker with higher stamina (age difference I guess). Both great on long balls.

    It makes you wonder, if he should swap position with Tomy or partner Partey in midfield.

  11. I think Saliba should partner Gabriel. Push White into midfield. This is what I used to say about David Luiz. So yes there is a resemblance.

  12. He has a very important asset which Luis never had, namely pace which is a vital necessity in this League.Maguire is an example of a one dimentional, ponderous centre back who cost 80m.We may have paid a premium for White but he will prove to be far better value for money than Maguire.As for Gabriel, he too is fairly quick over the ground, but the trouble is he is slow on the turn which makes him vulnerable in one on one situations.That said, in White and Gabriel, I think we have a partnership which can serve us well in the years ahead.There is no doubt that White has the ability to fulfil a DM role and if Saliba, returns and proves himself in a League which is far more demanding than the French equivalent, there may be room for both of them in the same eleven.

    1. ” Maguire is an example of a one dimensional, ponderous centre back who cost 80m ”

      Glad someone with a little insight and knowledge agrees.

      Posted on here AT THE TIME OF THE WHITE PURCHASE (i.e. not now, then) comparisons between him and the 80M Maguire.

      T was in response to the (expected) typecast posts braking out i.e. “Manchester United have Maguire & they buy Varane – look what we get”.

      I listed the attributes that the MODERN DAY centre back requires (particularly given how M A wants us to play).

      In my opinion White actually SCORED OVER Maguire in more than one of the aspects listed.

      Also the fact Maguire is 28 years of age, whilst White is 24.

      Therefore using the Maguire debate, White has 4 years of development over him (Maguire).

      In fact a more scalable comparison would be vintage Tony Adams with Maguire – and there’s clearly only one winner there !!!

      I was of course ridiculed.

      One comment was at least respectful of my view leaving room for debate – the others not worth recalling.

      As in many aspects concerning the Arsenal at this point in time, only time will tell.

      We’ll see at seasons end who’s had the better season.

      Maguire will still be “Maguire” (ho hum).

      Let’s see how White develops eh.

  13. What I see is not a similarity but a massive difference! In age, which means a chance to still improve, in speed(faster), in a less abrasive personality and, all round, a vast improvement on the ever unreliable Luiz.

  14. Whites passing range is very good on the eye and he pinged a few left footed passes against villa which was great to watch but not at Luiz lvl as of yet .
    The thing with Luiz is he put his head and body on the line something I havenโ€™t seen white do as of yet .
    Obviously Luiz was at the end of his career with us last season so mistakes and lack of speed was shown up more .
    There is definitely a good footballer inside of white but as of yet Iโ€™m not entirely sold on him .

    1. Dan, watch some of the highlights of the villa game and you will see him doing just that!
      I think it’s pointless comparing any ex player with a current one – what’s the point?

      I am certain we will not see White being red carded on a regular basis and, if we are to start challenging again for the top four, MA will need top top cover in case of injury and also the opportunity to rest players.
      White, Gabriel, Saliba, Holding will do that for him and I believe he has bought wisely…. as long as he brings Saliba back!!!!

      1. Ken I am interested specifically in your second sentence about comparisons.

        I DO much agree but would say that player comparisons will never cease and though pointless and of no consequence to todays players, are of fan interest and will continue as long as football is played.

        I have always held that to be of any USE(other than of purely academic interest, or for fun) whatsoever, comparisons should only be made when comparing like with like and with human beings – which after all, is what players are – is well nigh impossible, as well as meaningless.

  15. Honestly, Ben White is highly overrated. Because defensively ,he is not there yet. This backing off technique, when he should be closing down attackers is not good enough. He is no better talent than Saliba. Arsenal would have been better served, in using that 50m pounds,they overpaid for White to strengthen the midfield and right back positions. This thing of Saliba not good enough for premier league games is nonsense,because he was never given an opportunity to prove his worth. It’s shameful now to try and discredit his performances, because it’s the French league. Having faced the most potent front four across Europe, psg Mbappe,Messi,Neymar and Di Maria and performed as he did, is not good enough, then Saliba should not return to Arsenal next season. I have watched all Arsenal games and so far Ben White has not lived up to the hype. He has been very fortunate to have both Gabriel and Tomiyasu besides him,for, his defensive shortcomings would have been costly to Arsenal. Currently,in the Arsenal back four,Ben White is the weakest link defensively. All his early chat,of he improving Arsenal, must be seen now. This excuse of acclimatizing is nonsense. Arsenal spent 50m pounds, because he had the talent and skill with premier league experience. He is also British.

    1. Ben White has yet to justify the 50 million paid for him. However, on balance it was a risk worth taking given his potential and Arsenal’s need for defender with good pace and passing ability. He still needs to improve some aspects of his defending in one on one situations.
      It is unclear you mean by “hype”. Who is hyping Ben White?
      As for Saliba, there is evidence of talent. That does not mean that he was ready for regular premier league football. It is still unclear whether he is ready. He now has the opportunities to demonstrate his abilities on a regular basis. A

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