‘He’s a key player’ – Arsenal legend Lauren lauds Ben White as versatile defender misses out on Gareth Southgate’s England squad – THE INFORMANTI

Ben White has been lauded by Arsenal invincible Lauren having seamlessly made the transition from centre-back to right-back.

But despite being in fine form for the Premier League leaders, Gareth Southgate omitted the 25-year-old from his England squad for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers.


Arsenal defender White has been one of the club’s standout players this season


Versatile Gunners star White has swapped centre-back for right-back this term

White was included in the Three Lions’ World Cup squad, but left Qatar early due to ‘personal reasons’ having failed to play a single minute.

He is yet to miss a top-flight match for the Gunners this season though, where he has transitioned into a full-back role following the budding partnership between William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes.

The ex-Brighton man has established himself as the first-choice right-back under Mikel Arteta ahead of Takehiro Tomiyasu having started 25 out of Arsenal’s 27 league games.

And Gunners legend Lauren, who won seven major honours with Arsenal, has waxed lyrical over White’s performances in his old position.

Speaking exclusively to talkSPORT courtesy of bet365, Lauren said of the player: “I’m very pleased with his playing and the way he has been performing.

“He’s been performing very well. He gives so much for the team.

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White opened his account for Arsenal in the 3-2 win against Bournemouth earlier this month

“It’s not his natural position, but tactically, I believe for Arteta, he’s been one of the key members this season.

“When playing [Oleksandr] Zinchenko in the middle of the pitch, Ben White allows for the defensive system to be more flexible where you can form a back three with Gabriel and Saliba.

“His versatility is hugely beneficial to Arsenal, he’s been a key player this season and I’ve been impressed, definitely.”

And Lauren was also quick to single out Zinchenko, as he compared his role to that of Bayern Munich icon Philipp Lahm.


Zinchenko has won over the Arsenal fans since joining from Manchester City

Pressed at whether he has revolutionised the left-back role as he often plays in midfield during matches, Lauren remarked: “He’s been brilliant.

“Arteta clearly has a strategy he wants to implement in this Arsenal squad, dominating that middle of the park, and credit to the boys for stepping up and delivering it so far this season.

“But with Zinchenko it’s not a revolution, because we’ve seen that before at Bayern Munich with Philipp Lahm.

“Rather than playing as a right-back, he used to hop inside to be another extra man in the middle.

“I said similar about [Joao] Cancelo a few years back too. Cancelo is not a proper full-back. He used to be in the middle of the path as well as a Phillip Lahm.

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Lauren won seven major honours with Arsenal

“So it’s not a revolution, but Zinchenko has been a key player for Arsenal this season and allowed us to dominate the opponents in that middle of the park.

“Him playing the way he has been frees up Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey to excel. They’re all working together to be so strong this season.”

Arsenal have the chance to go eight points clear of second-placed Manchester City on Sunday should they beat Crystal Palace at the Emirates.


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