Ben White could start in midfield for Arsenal against Liverpool as Mikel Arteta admits the defender is an ‘option’ to solve his selection crisis… with Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey away at AFCON and Granit Xhaka out with Covid
- Arsenal are set to meet Liverpool in the Carabao Cup with one fit midfielder
- Albert Sambi Lokonga is the only central midfielder available for Mikel Arteta
- Arteta has confirmed Ben White could play as a makeshift midfielder at Anfield
- White was sometimes used in the middle of the park at previous club Brighton
Mikel Arteta has confirmed Ben White could be deployed as a makeshift midfielder in Arsenal’s clash with Liverpool on Thursday night.
The Gunners are heading into the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final with only one central midfielder available in Albert Sambi Lokonga.
Granit Xhaka will not be involved at Anfield after testing positive for Covid-19, while Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey are currently away at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Mikel Arteta says Ben White could play as a midfielder in Arsenal’s clash with Liverpool
As a result, Arteta may be forced to move White from his typical centre-back slot to the middle of the park, a position he is somewhat familiar with after operating there for previous club Brighton on occasion.
When asked if the 24-year-old could play in midfield against Liverpool, Arteta said: ‘It’s an option that we have. He has played there before.
‘He has played as a central defender, he’s played as a right-back and he’s played in a back three.
Albert Sambi Lokonga is the only natural central midfielder available for the Gunners
‘That’s one of the positive things with Ben, that he has the capacity to play in different roles.’
With Elneny and Partey away for the foreseeable future, Arteta is looking to dip into the winter market and bolster his midfield this month.
Juventus ace Arthur Melo is understood to be on his radar, with Arsenal in talks over a potential loan deal for the 25-year-old.
Arteta is weighing up the possibility of moving White from centre-back to middle of the park
The 24-year-old is familiar with the position after sometimes being used there at Brighton
Last summer the Gunners specifically targeted players aged 23 or under, but Arteta has suggested that policy may no longer be in place.
‘The project has different phases and each phase we have to accomplish certain targets and objectives,’ he added.
‘When you start to remodel the squad into a much healthier position then it is the moment you can evolve and start to make other decisions in relation to a lot of things that happen. It’s not just intention, it’s about what happens as well with many other players.’