Arsenal chiefs now accept that Ben White deserves to be offered a contract extension as a reward for his efforts at Emirates Stadium and being a key player for Mikel Arteta.
That is according to the Daily Mail, which reports that there is an understanding at Emirates Stadium that White has earned new terms. The 25-year-old has just under three years to go on his deal. But Arsenal will start talks over his future in north London in the coming weeks.
Arsenal want to speak with the defender’s representatives soon as they bid to lock down his future at the club. Arteta is keen to tie up one of his more important players having relied on White heavily. He is one of four Arsenal stars to play every Premier League minute this term.
Arsenal want to start contract talks with Ben White soon
Only Declan Rice and William Saliba have also played all 360 minutes in the top-flight among Arsenal’s outfield players so far in 2023/24. Aaron Ramsdale has also produced a perfect run to start the season. While Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard have featured for 359 and 353.
White earned most of his 360 minutes as a centre-half after starting Arsenal’s opening three games beside Saliba. But Arteta switched the Poole native to right-back against Manchester United with Gabriel Magalhaes starting centrally. He played the role throughout last season.
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Arteta surprised many when White started the 2022/23 campaign at right-back while Saliba joined Gabriel in the centre. The four-cap England international struck a strong relationship with Gabriel after joining the Gunners. But Saliba became an essential part of Arteta’s plans.
Ben White offers Mikel Arteta a superb defensive option
White excelled as a right-back, too, after continually improving his output from a previously unfamiliar role. Arteta saw his once bewildering decision pay off as White rarely put his foot out of line. At either end of the pitch, his consistency often came through to support Saka.
Having started this season as a centre-half, White was not at his absolute best when playing against Marcus Rashford as a right-back. But Arsenal accept White, who ex-Middlesbrough star Robbie Mustoe suggested last term is underrated, deserves to be given a new contract.
“White is growing as a full-back,” Mustoe stated on NBC Sports’ The 2 Robbies Podcast after Arsenal faced Crystal Palace in March. “[He was] more, really, as a central defender when he came from Brighton. But he’s got a natural ability to play in different spots.
“He’s quick, he’s a good defender, he’s surprisingly safe and steady on the ball. He showed with his little assist today, he poked a ball through to Bukayo Saka for his lovely goal. He did a great job on [Wilfried] Zaha for the most part after that first little run.
“I think he’s a player I don’t think people appreciate how good he is actually… If you watch what he does with the ball, his defensive side of things [and] his passing side of things, I think Ben White is a little underappreciated.”