Ben White has shared how William Saliba’s return and his move into right-back has resulted in him doing ‘a lot more running’ for Arsenal.
For large parts of last season, White was Gabriel’s regular partner at centre-back, but Mikel Arteta has opted to change that up this season.
Arsenal secured 13 clean sheets last term, in what was a strong defensive campaign from the north London club, and their new £50 million signing (Sky Sports) showing a lot of promise.
Given how White was mocked when he first arrived from Brighton, he faired a lot better than most thought, including getting into the England set-up.
But with Arsenal fans urging Arteta to hand Saliba a chance at the start of the season – three years after his signing – he opted to freshen up his backline, including Oleksandr Zinchenko’s arrival at left-back.
That meant that White has had to contend with a completely different role and he shared that it is taking a toll on his legs, as he told Sky Sports News.
“I am really enjoying it,” said White. “I am still learning the role, but it has been exciting to play there and apart from Manchester United, it has been a really good season so far.
“A lot more running. A lot more running. My legs feel a little bit more the next day.”
WILLIAM SALIBA SHINING BRIGHT
Whilst Arsenal suffered their first defeat of the new Premier League season last Sunday, they are still sitting top of the table.
One of the big reasons behind that is Saliba elevating the club’s defence and White himself doing a very good job in his new role.
He was used in that position by Arteta last season, but that’s a versatility he has had in his game for a number of years.
When the England international was loaned out to Leeds from Brighton, he was used in the middle of the park by Marcelo Bielsa on occasions, not forgetting that he can be used in a back three, in a back two and at right-back.