Forget Rice and Jorginho, Arsenal’s £50m unsung hero shone bright in Liverpool rout – view

By on February 5, 2024

Ben White

Though everyone is talking about Jorginho and Declan Rice’s great performances in Liverpool’s 3-1 victory, Ben White deserves recognition as well. The Arsenal right back had one of his best performances in an Arsenal shirt on Sunday evening.

Coming off a two-game winning streak following the midseason break, the Gunners were eager to make it three wins in a row. And that’s exactly what they did from the start of the game; they dominated the Reds and might have easily gone into halftime with a massive lead.

Unfortunately, we had to settle for a 1-1 draw at the break as Bukayo Saka’s goal was cancelled out by a calamitous own goal from Gabriel Magalhaes following a mistake from William Saliba.

Liverpool looked promising in the second half, but a mistake by Virgil Van Dijk and Alisson Becker allowed Gabriel Martinelli to score and put Arsenal ahead 2-1. The Reds were desperate for a comeback, but as they chased an equaliser, Ibrahim Konate received a second yellow card, leaving them with 10 on the pitch, making it more difficult to outmuscle a determined Arsenal. Leandro Trossard made it 3-1 in stoppage time with a deflection that saw the ball go between Alisson’s legs for Arsenal’s 3-1 win.

It was clear that Arsenal’s engine room, Jorginho and Rice, brought their A-game against Liverpool, but it is unfair to White to ignore how sharp he was at the back

Ben White was brilliant

The former Brighton player, whom the BBC revealed Arsenal paid a whopping £50 million to sign in 2021, won eight of the nine duels he was involved in; notably, he won all of his aerial duels.

He, as per WhoScored, also made three clearances, two interceptions, one successful tackle, two blocked shots, and completed two of his two takeaways.

Even though he had already received a yellow card for delaying a throw-in in the first half, he showed incredible discipline thereafter; thus, White didn’t receive a second yellow and wasn’t sent off; a red card would have given Liverpool the edge.

It is incredible how White has continued to improve; since the start of the 2022–23 season, he hasn’t been playing in his default position, which is central defence, but he’s continued to develop in the right-back role.

Not many believed White would make it as a top class right-back, but he’s proving a lot of people wrong and has become one of Arsenal’s most reliable players.