‘I am shocked’: Arteta admits 25-year-old player has shocked him at Arsenal

Much has been made over the new position of Ben White at Arsenal.

Last season, the 25-year-old had a stunning first year at the Gunners following a £50 million transfer in 2021.

Alongside Gabriel, the England international looked like one heck of a central defender for much of the campaign.

This time around, the former Brighton and Hove Albion player has been forced to operate as a right-back after Takehiro Tomiyasu began the season with an injury.

And with William Saliba looking so exceptional beside Gabriel in the middle, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has continued with White in that role.

And the Spanish manager has now admitted that he is pleasantly surprised by how quickly White has adapted, even if he acknowledges that he always believed he could do it.

Asked if he’s surprised by White’s transition, Arteta told a press conference via Hayters TV on Saturday night: “I am. We all believed that he had the qualities to do that, but the most important step was for him to believe he could do it.”


This just exemplifies what a versatile, brilliant player White really is.

To be excellent at central defender is hard enough in the Premier League, but to also be effective as a full-back illustrates that Arsenal’s £50 million was very well spent.

At 25, White is only going to get a lot better, regardless of what his permanent position winds up being after Arteta also revealed that midfield was an option, long term.

Whether Ben White’s position is centrally, on the right or midfield, he’ll continue to be a massive asset.