Arsenal are ready to open contract talks with Ben White over a new deal, according to rumours, and that news should be music to the ears of Gooners, with the defender having become one of their most impressive performers in recent times.
Initially used as a centre-back at the Emirates, White finds himself the club’s first-choice option on the right, where he has offered an impressive outlet for the Premier League title hopefuls.
Indeed, the 26-year-old provides solidarity in that role such that he is one of the best performers in that position in the world game, according to SciSports.
Using an algorithm that determines a player’s performance based on hundreds of in-game data points, SciSports give players a SciSkill score based on their ability.
White is ranked third in the world among full-backs and, in terms of the potential he holds, he finds himself with the sixth-highest ceiling.
White ranks alongside Trent and Walker
Perhaps his qualities would be more widely recognised if he were not English. Unfortunately for the 26-year-old, the two players better in the position in the world game currently are Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Manchester City’s Kyle Walker.
Both players have a reputation for being excellent attackers, yet White does not lag them too significantly in that regard, at least statistically. Indeed, he actually has more chance creation passes than Alexander-Arnold per 90 minutes this season (10.74 to 8.67), albeit he is yet to record an assist.
Best 10 right-backs in the world
|Kyle Walker||Man City||118.9|
|Giovanni Di Lorenzo||Napoli||114.5|
|Aaron Wan-Bissaka||Man Utd||106.8|
|Dani Carvajal||Real Madrid||105.9|
Nevertheless, across the board, White is right up there with these two elite players, perhaps not quite reaching their heights but certainly in the same ballpark in virtually every meaningful category.
Given he has only been playing this role for a couple of years at Premier League level, it represents remarkable progress.
Arsenal’s decision to tie White down to a new contract is undoubtedly the correct one, with the England man quietly operating at a world-class level.