Ben White is showing huge potential at Arsenal.
Although he failed to help the Gunners keep a clean sheet against Aston Villa in the club’s latest Premier League win, he played a role in keeping the Midlands side quiet for most of the game.
White’s defensive work on the night perhaps went unnoticed, as emphasised by some Arsenal fans on Reddit, who were quick to point out that he made three clearances, two blocks and two interceptions over the course of 90 minutes.
He also won 100% of his aerial duels and was never dribbled past, helping to create a solid foundation for the more attacking players to build from.
White has lost just one game in red and white, and notably, it was when his new centre-back partner, Gabriel Magalhaes, wasn’t in the starting line-up
Mikel Arteta won’t be getting carried away by any means, but he does think the two can create something special in the future.
Speaking after the goalless draw with Brighton and Hove Albion at the weekend, the Spaniard heaped praise on his central defensive pairing at the Amex Stadium.
“Yes [I am pleased], because they never played together, because Gabi is still struggling a little bit with the language, because they didn’t have any time to work together in pre-season either,” Arteta said in his post-match press conference.
“But they’re getting a really good connection.
“Good chemistry. I think their qualities match and complement each other really, really well and I think both of them today were terrific.”
Magalhaes has admitted the same thing, as he too thinks that they can form a long and sturdy partnership together.
“It’s only the beginning but I think we have the makings of a very good partnership, in terms of our attributes,” he told Sky Sports, via the Metro.
It hasn’t been a great start for Arsenal as Mikel Arteta looks to arrest the slide
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“The manager wants his central defenders to defend well, first and foremost. He wants us to know the moments to attack and the moments to defend.
“That’s what we are trying to do, and we know now when to drop deep and when to push up.”
White and Magalhaes have complimented each other well so far, and Arteta will be hoping that their form continues moving forward so that Arsenal climb further up the table.