Arsenal

Mikel Arteta admits Ben White is still a doubt to face Leicester

Jamie Spencer
Arsenal defender Ben White has been suffering from a sickness bug
Arsenal defender Ben White has been suffering from a sickness bug / Alex Pantling/GettyImages
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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted that Ben White remains a doubt for the Gunners for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Leicester City.

White was forced off early in the second half against Leeds in the Carabao Cup in midweek, having been suffering from the sickness bug that has affected a few players in the squad.

Arteta was initially hopeful that the centre-back, whose form has coincided with improved Arsenal results since settling down after a £50m summer transfer, would be okay for the weekend. But when he addressed the media on Friday, the boss explained there is still some doubt.

“It was a bit of sickness, and just tummy aches and things like that,” Arteta said, via Arsenal.com.

“[White] hasn’t trained yet, so again we’d have to wait for today to see how he’s feeling, and make the decision then.”

If White is not well enough to play or is still lacking fitness, it will be a blow to Arsenal, not least because Leicester have scored 14 goals in their last five games in all competitions.

“Ben had all the qualities that we were looking for,” Arteta said, discussing the reasons for his summer arrival.

“He’s happy to defend, open the space, he’s really good in duels, he has a huge personality to play when we’re demanding to make a process with the ball, in different ways against different kinds of press. Or when they don’t press and he has time on the ball, to make the right decisions.

“He has the anger, and I really like his character as well when I met him, and that’s when we made the decision to sign him.”

Arteta also revealed that a handful of players are carrying knocks ahead of the Leicester game, although he refused to name them. Kieran Tierney, meanwhile, remains a doubt and will be monitored so that a decision can be made on him before kick-off.


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