Arsenal confirm signing of Ben White from Brighton

Tom Gott
Arsenal have snapped up Ben White
Arsenal have snapped up Ben White / Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Arsenal have confirmed the arrival of centre-back Ben White from Brighton and Hove Albion.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is keen to rebuild his squad this summer and quickly identified centre-back as a position of weakness, particularly following the departure of David Luiz at the end of last season.

A handful of targets were suggested but Arsenal quickly set their sights on 23-year-old White, but Brighton were reluctant to sell the newly capped England international and slapped a hefty price tag of around £50m on White's head.

After some brief negotiations, the two clubs came to an agreement earlier this month, and now Arsenal have taken to their official website to confirm that the deal is finally done - adding that he'll wear the number 4 shirt.

Speaking of his arrival, Arteta said: “Ben was a top target for us and it’s great that we’ve completed his signing. Ben has been educated with two very good clubs, Brighton and Leeds, in recent seasons. 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. 

"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. We are all looking forward to Ben being central to our future long-term plans."

The cost of the deal makes White the third most-expensive player in club history, bettered only by the £72m deal to sign Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's £56m move to the club in January 2018.

White joins an Arsenal side that has already been busy in the transfer market. Nuno Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga have already joined the club and there are plans for a handful of extra signings to follow suit.

Arteta is on the hunt for a new goalkeeper, with Sheffield United's Aaron Ramsdale one of the Gunners' preferred targets, while there are also hopes to add another central midfielder if space can be made in the squad.

There are also plans to hand midfielder Granit Xhaka a new contract after his proposed move to Roma broke down late in negotiations.