Arsenal have confirmed the arrival of midfielder Ben White from Brighton and Hove Albion.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is keen to rebuild his squad this summer and quickly identified the midfielder as a position of weakness, especially after David Luiz’s departure at the end of last season.
A handful of goals were proposed but Arsenal quickly set their sights on the 23-year-old White, but Brighton were reluctant to sell the recently leveled England international and hit a hefty price tag of around £ 50 million on White’s head.
After some brief negotiations, the two clubs reached an agreement earlier this month, and now Arsenal have gone to their official website to confirm that the deal is finally complete – adding that he will wear jersey number 4.
Speaking about his arrival, Arteta said: “Ben was a top goal for us and it is fantastic that we have completed his signing. Ben has been trained with two very good clubs, Brighton and Leeds, in recent seasons. He has benefited from two very good coaching arrangements and has shown with both Brighton and on loan at Leeds what a strong talent he is.
“Ben is an intelligent defender who is very comfortable with the ball at his feet and his style fits us perfectly. And of course he is still young, so his age and profile fit with what we build here. We all look forward to Ben being central to our future long-term plans. “
The cost of the deal makes White the third most expensive player in the club’s history, reinforced only by the £ 72m deal to sign Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for £ 56m for the club in January 2018.
Sorry we’m late …
Traffic was a nightmare? pic.twitter.com/sO1T9981Rw
– Arsenal (@Arsenal) 30 July 2021
White joins an Arsenal side that has already been busy in the transfer market. Nuno Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga have already joined the club and there are plans for a handful of extra signings to follow.
Arteta is looking for a new goalkeeper, with Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale one of Gunners’ preferred goals, while there are also hopes of adding another central midfielder if there is room in the squad.
There are also plans to give midfielder Granit Xhaka a new contract after his proposed move to Roma broke down in the negotiations.