Bukayo Saka agrees with Phil Foden about Ben White as Arsenal hope to complete £50m transfer



Arsenal completed their first signing of the summer transfer window last weekend, getting a deal over the line for Benfica left-back Nuno Tavares.

The Portuguese youngster, who has been drafted in to provide competition for Kieran Tierney on the left side of the defence, has joined the club for around £8million and will be looking to make his debut when Arsenal face Rangers in their second pre-season friendly on Saturday.

Tavares was unable to feature in the 2-1 defeat to Hibernian on Tuesday evening, with the paperwork concerning his arrival at the Emirates Stadium not having been completed in time to allow him to feature at Easter Road.

The 21-year-old is poised to become the first of several new additions to arrive at the Emirates Stadium this summer, with Anderlecht midfield ace Albert Sambi Lokonga set to join the club in the not too distant future.

However, once the Belgian finally completes his move to north London, Arsenal will be hoping that it is not too long before they complete their third signing of the summer in the form of Brighton & Hove Albion centre-back Ben White.

The Gunners have been tracking the 23-year-old defender for several weeks and are increasingly confident that they can get a deal over the line, despite not yet agreeing a fee with the Seagulls. It is understood that a fee of around £50million would most probably be enough, but discussions remain ongoing, with add-ons and bonuses unlikely to have yet been settled on.

Nevertheless, there is a general feeling of confidence within the Emirates Stadium that Arsenal can soon get a deal done, meaning they would significantly strengthen their central-defensive options with the talented former Leeds United loanee.

Although, as outlined above, no deal has been struck as of yet, Arsenal are confident that they can get a deal over the line, with football.london understanding that White is keen to make the move to the Emirates Stadium.

Should a deal be completed in the coming weeks, the arrival of the versatile defender would most certainly earn the seal of approval from Arsenal star Bukayo Saka.

The teenager, who produced no shortage of outstanding performances for the Gunners last term, was recently on international duty with White for England and was very impressed by what he saw from the Brighton defender, despite the defender never playing a single minute throughout the whole tournament.

Liking what he had seen from White in training, Saka told ITV Sport: “I was impressed the most by Ben White because obviously I haven’t seen him a lot this season.

“Coming here and playing with him I’ve been impressed with him.”

Interestingly, Saka was not the only one to wax lyrical about White when asked which England player had made the biggest impression during training.

Manchester City ace Phil Foden, who missed the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy on Sunday through a minor injury, agreed with Saka that White had been impressive.

“I haven’t really seen a lot of Ben but he’s come in and I thought he’s been brilliant in training,” Foden admitted. “So I would probably say Ben White.”

With White earning plenty of plaudits from his England teammates for being the most impressive in training, whilst the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and many other household names were present, says a lot about the Brighton defender’s attitude and mentality.

White probably knew that opportunities to play for England this summer would be hard to come by, but it is clear from Saka and Foden’s verdicts that he most certainly put the hard yards in on the training ground to prove his worth.

Should Arsenal seal a deal for the Brighton ace, it would appear that they will be landing a defender who is both a brilliant player and of a great mentality.

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