Arsenal have signed Ben White from Brighton & Hove Albion in a £50m deal which sees the 23 year-old sign a five-year contract until June 2026.
White joins the Gunners after impressing for Brighton in 39 appearances across all competitions last season and was selected for England squad at Euro 2020, having previously graduated through the Seagulls’ youth academy amidst loan spells at Newport County, Peterborough United and Leeds United.
This transfer also sees White becomes Arsenal’s third-highest overall transfer signing behind Nicholas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, as well as the club’s record defensive signing – smashing the £36.9m paid for Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia in August 2016.
Speaking on his move to Arsenal, White revealed that he is “buzzing” to have completed his transfer after having known of the deal for a while, even though he admitted that it was “hard” to keep secret whilst on his holidays after Euro 2020 where he was part of England’s squad.
Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta added that White had been “a top target” of his this summer and is happy to have got the transfer done, whilst praising Brighton and Leeds for providing the youngster with a great education.
Expanding on his praise for the Seagulls and Whites, Arteta said: “He has benefitted well from two very good coaching set-ups and has shown with both Brighton and on loan with Leeds what a strong talent he is.”
On what fans can expect from White this season and beyond, Arteta added: “Ben is an intelligent defender who is very comfortable with the ball at his feet and his style fits perfectly with us. And of course, he is still young, so his age and profile fits with what we are building here.”
Brighton’s Head Coach, Graham Potter meanwhile paid tribute to White, saying: “Ben has come an incredible way in a short period of time, but we felt he had all the attributes to achieve what he has in the past few years.
“From the loan spells with Newport, Peterborough and Leeds through to his debut season in the Premier League with us last season, Ben has acquitted himself with great professional at every step of the process.
“We are incredibly proud of him and what he has achieved, and much credit must go to our academy, who have played such an important role in developing Ben from a younger age.
“On behalf of everyone at the Albion, I would like to thank him for his contribution to the club, he has been a pleasure to work with ever since I arrived here, and wish him well for the future.”
White is Arsenal’s third signing of this summer’s transfer window following the capture of Nuno Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga.