Interview

Ben White's first Arsenal interview: watch now!

Ben White is officially an Arsenal player!

The England defender became our third signing of the summer on Friday when he agreed a long-term deal with the club. 

We sat down with the 23-year-old at London Colney to discuss the move, fans on social media, Mikel Arteta and more.

Click the 'Play' button above to watch the interview, and follow along with a full transcript below:

Ben, finally here! You're finally at The Arsenal. How does it feel to sign for us, man?
Yeah it's been a while, hasn't it! Obviously I've known for quite a while and it's taken longer than I thought it would, but I'm buzzing to be here.

You said it took a while. Of course, it's been all over socials that this might possibly be happening. I'm guessing a lot of Arsenal fans were probably in your DMs saying, 'Hey, Ben, come to Arsenal! What are you doing over there?' Was it like that?
Yeah, it's been hard to not tell anyone to be fair. I told my family to keep it quiet. Even when I was on holiday I was getting asked whether I am or not. It was tough but I managed to keep it. 

When did you first hear about our interest in bringing you here?
I think it was when I was with England, that's when it got a bit more serious. It was obviously nice to find out and to be here is absolutely unbelievable. 

The thing is, with the social media stuff, I remember I was on Twitter and I saw people really trying to find out where you were. There was a picture of you getting out of a certain car and they're saying, 'Oh that's the car that Mikel came in - he's probably at Colney!' How do you feel when you see stuff like that going on in the background?
It's funny because all my mates were with me during the summer. They're putting stuff up on social media and obviously people find that out, asking him questions. He's got exactly the same as me. It's nice. Now they're going to know!

Of course we talk about Mikel coming in that lovely, lovely taxi. Of course you had a chat with him and Edu. What were their plans for you this season? How did they convince you to join this project that we have here?
I don't think I needed too much convincing to be fair. Obviously Arsenal speaks for itself and I spoke to the gaffer a number of times during the summer. I got good vibes and the way the gaffer wants to play, I think I can produce quality in this team and hopefully get Arsenal back. 

That would be great. We need a big season this season, an absolutely massive season. Do you think you're up for the challenge?
For sure. I've played in the Football League, I've played for a number of teams on loan and the hunger's still there. I'm really happy to be at a massive club like this and hopefully bring the level up of this team. 

What can the fans expect to see from you? 
It's always a hard question, this one. When times get hard in games, I can step up and control situations. I'm very relaxed on the ball and through that I can produce quality in bad moments of the game. 

Listen, I know you're mostly a centre back. Are there any other positions you can play or that you've played in before?
To be fair, I've played in most positions. 

Up front?
Probably for Newport, yeah. In League Two!

I saw that strike for Leeds and I feel like you can play up front! I feel like you can smack a few away...
The thing is that I got told off for that because I wasn't in the box heading it. 

Really?
Yeah, so after the game it was all fun. I banged it top bins so it was alright!

Absolutely smashed it, it was crazy! So you've played a few positions before but you're mostly a centre back. What other positions do you enjoy playing other than centre back?
I think my main is obviously centre back. That's where I've developed over the years. I've slotted into different positions to help the team and I feel like I can do that to help the team. If I need to do that this season, I'll definitely be up for it. 

We've got absolute ballers at this football club. Who are you really excited to be playing against to maybe see if you can take them in training? Who's really caught your eye that you're excited to see?
So I had a bit with Bukayo over the summer. I hadn't seen much of him and he really surprised me how talented he is. 

Was he going up against you in training a lot?
Not me but some of the other boys. He's so sharp and I was really surprised how good he is. 

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