Who is Ben White? The Brighton defender on the cusp of £50m Arsenal transfer

Ben White of Brighton. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)Ben White of Brighton. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Ben White of Brighton. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
The England international could be in line for one of the biggest moves of the summer.

Brighton defender Ben White may be on the cusp of joining Premier League rivals Arsenal in a deal worth around £50 million.

According to a report from Sky Sports, the Gunners have agreed a deal in principle with the Seagulls that will see the 23-year-old swap the south coast for north London.

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But who is White, and will he make a success of things if his transfer to the capital is rubber-stamped?

We’ve gathered all the information you need to know about the player and the deal below…

Who is Ben White?

White started his youth career with Southampton, but left the Saints to join Brighton on a free transfer back in 2014.

Since then, it’s been a slow, steady climb to the top for the centre-back.

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After several years in Albion’s youth teams, he made the move to senior football with a loan to Newport County in 2017. After a successful spell with the Welsh club, he joined Peterborough United on loan in January 2019, but it was a season-long stint with Leeds United that really acted as his breakthrough.

White helped Marcelo Bielsa’s side to promotion, and was involved in one of the most persistent transfer sagas of last summer, as the Whites pushed to make his stay at Elland Road permanent.

Brighton held firm in their desire to hang on to the player, however, and he went on to make 36 appearances in the Premier League last term.

As a reward for his eye-catching performances, Whites was drafted into England’s 26-man Euro 2020 squad by Gareth Southgate, but failed to make an appearance at the tournament itself, despite making his debut for the Three Lions at the beginning of June.

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Will Ben White move to Arsenal?

For a while it has looked as if Brighton could frustrate Arsenal in their efforts to land the defender.

It has been reported that the Gunners have already had two bids, believed to be worth around £40 million and £47 million rejected for White.

The news that a deal has been agreed in principle would suggest that they have finally met Albion’s asking price, understood to be around the £50 million mark.

There is still work to be done before the transfer can be finalised, however.

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The 23-year-old is expected to take a medical when he returns from holiday on July 26.

What are pundits saying about the move?

The general consensus among former Arsenal players is that it would be a smart move for the Gunners to bring White in.

David Seaman has gone as far as to suggest his old side “need” to sign a player like the England man this summer, while Ray Parlour has argued that he would “certainly” be a good signing for Mikel Arteta’s side.

Not everybody is as convinced, however.

Outspoken talkSPORT pundit and former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan questioned why White would make a move to the under-performing Gunners when he could secure an even bigger move if he put in another stellar campaign next term.