Mikel Arteta ‘impressed’ by Arsenal summer signing but admits he ‘can improve’

Mikel Arteta has been pleased by the start Ben White has made to life as an Arsenal player

Arsenal and England defender Ben White
Arsenal and England defender Ben White (Photo: Sky Sports / Screengrab)

Mikel Arteta says he has been pleasantly surprised by the start Ben White has made to life at Arsenal but admits that the young defender still has plenty of room for improvement.

The 23-year-old has started four of Arsenal’s six games in the Premier League so far this season following his big-money transfer to The Emirates from Brighton and Hove Albion in the summer transfer window.

White has made a solid if unspectacular start to his Gunners career, with Arsenal having kept clean sheets in two of the four games in which he has featured in the top flight so far.

The English central defender played the full 90 minutes as Arsenal claimed a thrilling 3-1 win over Tottenham in Sunday’s north London derby clash at The Emirates.

Arteta was asked to assess White’s start at Arsenal ahead of Saturday’s trip to Brighton, and the Gunners boss insisted that he has been pleased by what he has seen so far.

Asked about White, Arteta told a news conference on Thursday: “Well, I’ve been very impressed with how he handles the pressure and how he’s handled the situation of coming through the Euros and paying the big fee and the composure and the calmness that he’s shown.

“And as well, the willingness to learn, to improve, because he’s realised that he is still really young, still in the development process and there are things that he can improve.

“We are already enjoying [our time] together and we have to continue like that.”

Arteta also feels that White is developing a solid partnership with fellow defender Gabriel at the back for the Gunners.

Asked about White and Gabriel’s partnership, he replied: “They played really well at the weekend, the understanding is getting better and the cohesion among the back is getting better, the more they play it will keep improving.

“We have different partnerships that will work, but certainly they played well at the weekend.”

Arsenal head into their trip to Brighton on Saturday night in 10th place in the table and looking to win their fourth Premier League game in a row.

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