Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has heaped praise on Ben White following his impressive impact in his debut season with the club.
White was signed for £50 million from Brighton & Hove Albion last summer, and there were question marks raised over the fee.
The centre-back had a poor Gunners debut on the road to Brentford. It was followed by a three-game absence due to coronavirus.
Since his return, he has been hugely consistent with his displays, forming an excellent partnership alongside Gabriel Magalhaes.
Speaking to Arsenal.com, Arteta has now said that White is ‘very demanding’ of himself and is always ‘willing to learn’ and improve.
He said: “He’s just moved to our club and he’s just been here just for a few months but he has something and he wants to do it.”
“He’s very demanding with himself, he’s really willing to learn and improve his game and he’s in the right place.
“In terms of the qualities that I saw in him and what is required for us to try to recruit somebody like him with his qualities, it was clear.
“Then those personalities as well, that chemistry has to exist [between White and Gabriel].
“We can see they really enjoy playing together, you can see that, that chemistry is there and that’s a massive extra when you are looking to build something at the back.”
White’s aerial ability was considered as a potential weakness, but he has been up for the challenge, winning 60 per cent of his duels.
He has formed a solid understanding with Gabriel at the heart of the defence, keeping nine clean sheets in the last 17 league games.
The £120k-a-week star has grown from strength-to-strength this term. Yesterday was undoubtedly his best showing in the club’s shirt.
The entire backline showed a superb defensive resolve at Anfield, but White stood out with seven clearances and three tackles.
White has answered plenty of critics this term. The onus will now be on carrying the good form to boost the club’s top-four hopes.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com and SofaScore.com
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