Ben White Profile
|Born||Oct 08, 1997|
Arsenal defender Ben White has risen through the ranks of English football, playing in all four professional leagues in the country before turning 22.
Ben White is known for his composure on the ball, his concentration and interceptions, as well as his tough tackling and physical ability that make him one of the most highly-regarded centre-backs in Europe.
Having spent time on loan at Newport County in League Two, Peterborough United in League One and Leeds United in the Championship, White got his first taste of Premier League action at the start of the 2020/21 season for his parent club, Brighton and Hove Albion.
Whilst at Leeds, White made a name for himself, guiding the club back into the Premier League before signing a new long-term contract at Brighton. In July 2021, he was signed for £50million by Arsenal.
His progression has continued year-on-year since his professional debut in 2016 and he was called up to the England national team for the first time in 2021. White has also shown that he is capable of playing in multiple positions such as right-back, defensive midfield and central midfield.
Making a name for himself in Wales
White had been held in high regard by coaches at Brighton and for the first league match of the 2016/17 season on August 6, the defender was an unused substitute in a 0-0 draw away to Derby County.
White made his professional debut three days later, playing in a 4-0 EFL Cup first round home victory over Colchester United. He went on to make a total of three appearances during that cup run.
To help gain some experience, the Poole-born centre-back was loaned to Newport County for the season at the beginning of the 2017/18 campaign. He made his Football League debut on August 12, 2017, in a 1-1 draw versus Crewe Alexandra. White scored his first league goal on November 21, 2017, for Newport against Barnet in a 2-1 home defeat.
At the start of 2018, White played in the FA Cup third round against Leeds United as Newport caused a huge shock by winning 2-1, cementing themselves in the fourth round draw for the first time since 1978/79.
Tottenham Hotspur were their next opponents and White started the match, which ended 1-1. The result forced a replay at Tottenham's temporary ground, Wembley Stadium. After the match, White was complimented for his performance up against England striker Harry Kane.
Ben White went on to be named the South Wales Argus Player of the Year, with his manager Michael Flynn hailing him as "the best loan signing the club has ever made."
Stepping up a league
White returned to Brighton at the end of the season, having earned rave reviews from those in Wales, with then-Brighton manager Chris Hughton stating that White would be used as the fourth-choice centre-back for the club.
However, he found his opportunities limited and only made the bench for the first time on December 8, 2018, for a game that Brighton lost against Burnley. A month later, White was loaned out to League One team Peterborough United when the January transfer window opened in order to gain some more experience.
He made his debut for Peterborough on January 5, 2019, in a 5-0 away loss to Middlesbrough in the third round of the FA Cup. White's first match at the London Road Stadium was also his first League One appearance, when he came on in the 88th minute to replace Joe Ward in a 2-1 victory over Rochdale.
White scored his first, and only, goal for The Posh in a 2-0 home win over Southend United, in which he scored the second goal. It condemned their opponents to an 11th match without a victory but helped Peterborough into sixth, after they ended a mini-slump of three losses in succession.
The campaign did end in slight disappointment because Peterborough finished just one place outside of the play-offs. White's time at the club ended with him making 16 appearances in all competitions and once again, he had impressed away from his parent club.
Loan promotion with Leeds United
On July 1, 2019, White signed for Championship club Leeds United on loan until the end of the season. On the same day, White secured a new one-year contract extension at Brighton.
He was given the number 5 shirt by Marcelo Bielsa, who showed a huge amount of trust in the young defender from the day he joined the club. He made his first Leeds appearance on the opening day of the season in a 3-1 win against Bristol City.
White's first month in the second tier could not have gone much better as he won the PFA Player of the Month award for August.
The next month there were rumours that White was being watched by top Premier League clubs, such as Liverpool, and Brighton manager Graham Potter had to announce that White would not be recalled from his impressive start to his loan.
At the end of 2019, White was voted the best young player in the Championship and he and his Leeds team-mate Kalvin Phillips were watched by England manager Gareth Southgate.
White's superb form did not slow down, playing in all 46 league matches and helping Leeds United win the Championship. The centre-back established a magnificent bond with Leeds United fans because of his on and off the field personality.
He also went on to score his only goal for The Whites in his last appearance for the club in a 4-0 win against Charlton Athletic. White opened the scoring with a fantastic volley, showing a great first touch and composure to fire the ball into the top corner of the Charlton goal. The finish was voted the goal of the month for July 2020.
White also went on to win the individual award for Leeds Young Player of the Season and the Yorkshire Evening Post award for Player of the Season for 2019/20.
On September 8, 2020, White was named in the PFA Team of the Year for the 2019/20 Championship.
Impressing in the Premier League
White's rapid progression through the leagues continued in the 2020/21 season, where he would go on to become a vital player for Brighton and Hove Albion.
The previous months had been filled with speculation about his future. Former loan club Leeds United had three failed bids for the highly-rated player and to dispel any chance of him leaving Brighton, White pencilled a new four-year contract on September 1, 2020.
Ben White made his Premier League debut in a 3-1 defeat against Frank Lampard's Chelsea, in which he went off injured. He returned for Brighton's next match and was key in helping his team secure a clean sheet in a 3-0 away win against Newcastle United.
In February, he played against Liverpool and Brighton won the match 1-0 against the defending champions. This was their first win at Anfield since 1982. Brighton also earned their first ever point against Chelsea in April, with White putting in another strong display, although he was sent off in added time for a second bookable offence.
With the return of fans to football grounds after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, Brighton and Hove Albion were able to celebrate a home victory against Manchester City, who would go on to become Premier League champions for the fifth time. White and his team showed superb character coming from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against Pep Guardiola's team.
Following a fantastic breakthrough Premier League campaign, in which he made 36 league appearances, White was named Brighton's Player of the Season.
Once again transfer rumours would circulate, with Arsenal leading the chase for the defender. They were successful in capturing his signature, securing White for £50million on July 30, 2021.
Breaking into the England set-up
After first being watched by Gareth Southgate in 2019, Ben White was named in England's provisional 33-man squad for the Euro 2020 Championships. This was White's first ever call-up to the national team at any level.
He was one of seven players cut from the squad on June 1, although the axed players remained in the squad for the two subsequent warm-up games against Austria and Romania. White made his England debut coming on as a substitute, replacing Jack Grealish in the 1-0 victory over Austria at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium.
He made his first start in the second and final warm-up match on June 6, playing the whole 90 minutes of the 1-0 victory over Romania, again at the Riverside Stadium.
The next day White was named in the 26-man squad for Euro 2020 as a replacement for the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold. White remained unused in the tournament as England finished runners-up.
Ben White's personal life
Ben White is one of two children born to parents Carole and Barry. He grew up with his sister Ellie in the coastal town of Poole on the south coast of the UK.
White was faced with adversity in his early years and had to overcome a life-threatening illness. A few months after his birth, it was noticed that Ben's immune system was not working. He suffered from appendicitis and it took a considerable amount of time for him to recover. This did not leave him and he had around seven different infections which kept him in hospital.
At the age of seven, Ben was forced to have his appendix removed. Following the operation, he was on a constant intake of antibiotics. As time went on, he was able to remove the intake of antibiotics from his daily routine.
Regarding football, White was with Southampton's famous academy for a total of eight years, but he was unfortunately released. White did not let the rejection deter him and he immediately contacted other clubs and was offered trials.
A number of Championship clubs showed an interest in him, in particular Brighton and Hove Albion. After a couple more trials, White decided to join Brighton. He rose through the academy and went on to make his professional debut in 2016 as an 18-year-old.
Ben White's net worth
Ben White signed a new contract at Brighton in 2020 and secured a substantial wage rise, believed to be worth around £33,000 a week according to Salary Sport. They have estimated his net worth to be around £2million. The details of his Arsenal deal are currently unknown.
Ben White News
- Aug 28, 2022
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