Monday, February 6, 2023

Manchester City plotting Ben White swoop

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Manchester City are reportedly interested in signing Arsenal defender Ben White and the England international could be the ideal addition to Pep Guardiola‘s side.

What’s the word?

According to CalcioMercato, the 25-year-old is on a two-man shortlist for City which also includes RB Leipzig sensation Josko Gvardiol, with the Citizens clearly in the market for a new centre-back.

The report claims that City may have to wait until next summer to do a deal for the former Brighton & Hove Albion star, with the Gunners unlikely to sell to their closest title rivals during the current campaign.

Perfect for Pep?

White has shown his versatility at Arsenal this season, with Mikel Arteta moving the defender out to right-back in order to accommodate William Saliba into the starting 11, with the Frenchman forming a superb partnership alongside Gabriel.

In 15 appearances so far this season, the former Leeds United loanee has contributed two assists and averaged an impressive 6.89 rating from WhoScored for his performances.

While Guardiola already has top centre-back options such as Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, John Stones, Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji to call upon at the Etihad, none of these players have earned an average rating above White’s so far this campaign.

The legendary Spanish manager has cultivated a side at City who are extremely dominant in possession and White’s ability on the ball suggests that he could be the perfect fit under the former Barcelona man.

As per FBref, the young defender excels at passing, scoring above the 80th percentile for passes attempted, pass completion and progressive passes when compared to other full-backs from Europe’s top five leagues.

Mikel Arteta was full of praise for White earlier in the season, dubbing him a “complete player” and while it might be tough to prise him away from the Emirates, given they spent £50m to sign him in 2021, it seems clear that he would be a stellar addition to Guardiola’s squad.

Therefore, Txiki Begiristain should definitely try and bring the versatile defender to the Etihad in 2023, as there seems little to suggest that he wouldn’t be a big success in a possession-hungry Guardiola side.

Numisteamone

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