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Mikel Arteta asked Bukayo Saka for his verdict on Ben White before sanctioning £50m deal


Bukayo Saka wanted the opinion of Bukayo Saka before pressing ahead with plans to sign Ben White (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal finally completed the signing of Ben White on Friday after nearly a year for tracking the England defender.

The Gunners have invested £50million in the 23-year-old who will slot in as the right-sided centre-half in what Mikel Arteta hopes will be a new-look team by the start of the new season.

David Luiz’s decision to depart at the end of his contract earlier this summer meant Arsenal were short of the sort of defender who can penetrate the lines and carry the ball into opposition territory.

Ben White completed his move to Arsenal on Friday (Picture: Getty)

Arteta is confident White fits the bill but, according to The Athletic, the Arsenal boss consulted with Bukayo Saka during England’s Euro 2020 campaign to gauge the winger’s opinion on his international teammate.

Saka’s feedback was overwhelmingly positive and the respect between the pair was clearly mutual given the glowing reference White gave the Hale End academy graduate during his first interview as an Arsenal player.

Asked which player he is most looking forward to training with at the Emirates, £50m Arsenal signing White said: ‘So I had a bit with Bukayo over the summer.

‘I hadn’t seen much of him before then and he really surprised me how talented he is.

‘[I didn’t train against him a lot] but some of the other boys did. He’s so sharp and I was really surprised how good he is.’

White, meanwhile, was said to have been coveted by the likes of Manchester City and Everton, but claimed it was an easy decision to join Arsenal despite the fact they will not compete in Europe this season.

‘I don’t think I needed too much convincing to be fair,’ he said. ‘Obviously Arsenal speaks for itself and I spoke to the gaffer a number of times during the summer.

‘I got good vibes and the way the gaffer wants to play, I think I can produce quality in this team and hopefully get Arsenal back.’


MORE : Lautaro Martinez happy to seal Arsenal transfer as Spurs consider hijacking move


MORE : ‘Fully deserved’ – Jack Grealish congratulates Ben White after he completes £50m Arsenal transfer

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