Despite Arsenal’s draw against Brighton, Mikel Arteta’s largest transfer demand was justified.
Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta’s side were held to a goalless draw by Brighton on Saturday.
After another solid defensive effort in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Brighton, Arsenal defender Ben White continues to prove why Mikel Arteta was correct to invest the cash on him this summer. After a £50 million summer transfer to north London, the 23-year-old made his return to his previous club.
The greatest chance for Brighton came in the first half, when Lewis Dunk blasted over from six yards.
Arsenal could have scored when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rounded Seagulls goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, but Shane Duffy was on hand to stretch out a leg and nudge the ball away for a corner.
With Albert Sami Lokonga replacing the injured Granit Xhaka in the starting lineup, Arteta made just one forced change from the squad that defeated Tottenham 3-1 on Sunday.
After a rocky start in the Premier League’s season opener at Brentford and a stint out of the team due to Covid-19, White has substantially improved his play.
For extended stretches in the first half, Arsenal were under siege, but White, with the support of his defensive partner Gabriel Magalhaes, kept the Gunners at bay.
In the first half, the defender made more clearances than any other Arsenal player, and no one made more ball recoveries than the centre-back.
White kept the dangerous Neal Maupay at bay, preventing him from adding to his four Premier League goals for the Seagulls.
Arsenal weren’t very outstanding on the day, but White was one of their bright spots.
Many questioned the decision to spend so much money on the defender, comparing it to Manchester United’s £43 million purchase of Raphael Varane.
But, speaking ahead of White’s return to his previous club, Arteta believes the defender has ‘amazing’ potential.
“We bought him because we believe he has the potential to be amazing, and he still doesn’t have a lot of experience in the league,” Arteta explained.
“He has experience with Leeds, as well as a year with Brighton, so he is not mature in that regard.”
“However, he has already demonstrated his abilities and what he can accomplish, and he has been selected for the national squad, which is not a coincidence considering the manner he.