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Ben White shows promise as Arsenal suffer from familiar failings in Chelsea FC friendly

·2-min read
 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

If this game against Chelsea was anything to go by, then Ben White may be in for a busy season after joining Arsenal.

The Gunners’ new £50million man had barely been on the pitch 10 minutes before he was clearing the ball off his goal line during Saturday’s unofficial debut.

White came on at half-time during this 2-1 defeat to Chelsea, thrown on to help tighten up an Arsenal defence that looked shaky.

Some of that will, of course, be down to pre-season rust and Mikel Arteta will hope the cobwebs have been blown away by the time Arsenal kick off their Premier League campaign against Brentford on August 13.

Either way, Arteta will want White to be in his backline for that game at Griffin Park as this 45 minutes against Chelsea underlined the role he can play.

It is always difficult to read too much into pre-season, but White’s reading of the game and his ability to cover should make him invaluable.

His goal-line clearance was the highlight of a promising 45 minutes that came just two days after he signed for Arsenal.

White has barely trained with his new team-mates and the next 12 days will be vital as he looks to bed in ahead of the trip to Brentford.

Plenty of eyebrows were raised when Arsenal spent £50m on White, who was a shock call-up to the England squad for Euro 2020 this summer, but there is a gap in defence for someone to step up and be a leader.

Time will tell if White can be that man, but he at least made a steady start here in front of around 25,000 Arsenal fans.

 (PA)
(PA)

They were treated to some of the errors we have seen countless times before - with Arsenal caught playing out from the back for Chelsea’s winning goal - and Arteta’s side will need to cut them out this season.

The Spaniard is at a crucial time in his rebuild and White, given he cost £50m, will have a pivotal role in ensuring it’s a success.

At least, for now, the early signs look promising.

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