Leeds United defender Luke Ayling believes “the sky is the limit” for Arsenal-bound Ben White.
The Gunners have reached an agreement with Brighton & Hove Albion over the £50million signing of White, football.londonunderstands.
The England defender had already agreed personal terms with the north London club over the move, but the Seagulls were determined to receive £50m for his services.
Arsenal did see two offers, believed to be £40m and £45m, turned down for White, but it looks like they are getting ever closer to securing the signing of their defensive target.
Plenty has been said about the 23-year-old, with some suggesting the £50m price tag may be a little too steep for someone with just one season of Premier League experience, but Ayling’s verdict on his former team-mate explains just why he is so highly thought of by Mikel Arteta.
White spent the 2019/20 season on loan at Leeds, helping the Whites secure a long awaited promotion back to the Premier League.
The versatile defender starred for Marcelo Bielsa ‘s side, with his composure in possession being something that really stood out during his time at Elland Road.
This is something Ayling references – with a simple six-word verdict: “He was just Cruyffing centre forwards”, speaking about Holland and Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff, who of course invented his own famous skill move.
“He’s top, top quality. His mental strength to come in here as a lad who nobody knew about. If you asked the lads, I don’t think anyone really knew who Ben White was,” the Leeds right-back said to Sky Sports.
“To come in here and step into Pontus’ shoes, they were quite big shoes, he was brilliant for us.
“For him to come in and step into those shoes and hit the ground running. I was injured for the first game against Bristol City, so I was watching it on TV and he was just Cruyffing centre forwards, he was so relaxed.
“A real quality player with a strong mentality. The sky is the limit for him.”
White is expected to become Arsenal’s second defensive signing of the summer after Nuno Tavares arrived at the Emirates Stadium recently.
Source by Football London