Arsenal have completed the signing of center back Ben White in a deal understood to be worth just short of $70 million (£50 million) to selling club Brighton and Hove Albion.
White, 23, becomes the second most expensive signing in the Premier League this season behind fellow England international Jadon Sancho as well as the record sale made by Brighton. For Arsenal only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe have cost more.
The Gunners did not confirm the length of the contract but sources have indicated to CBS Sports that he has signed a five year deal with the club holding an option to extend his terms by a further 12 months. After an impressive debut Premier League campaign with Brighton, White emerged as Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta's first choice signing for the right side of his center back pairing.
"Ben was a top target for us and it's great that we've completed his signing," said Arteta. "Ben has been educated with two very good clubs, Brighton and Leeds, in recent seasons. He has benefitted well from two very good coaching set-ups and has shown with both Brighton and on loan with Leeds what a strong talent he is.
"Ben is an intelligent defender who is very comfortable with the ball at his feet and his style fits perfectly with us. And of course, he is still young, so his age and profile fits with what we are building here. We are all looking forward to Ben being central to our future long-term plans."
White's addition gives Arteta the ball-playing center back on the right side of defense that he wanted to succeed David Luiz, the veteran Brazilian who left on a free transfer this summer. The youngster played 36 games for Brighton last season and his form at club level saw him win his first England cap against Austria in June. Following an injury to Trent Alexander-Arnold he was drafted into Gareth Southgate's squad for Euro 2020 though he did not feature in the Three Lions' run to the final.
"Ben has been a key target this summer," Arsenal technical director Edu said. "He has so many qualities which make us so excited he's joining us. Ben's a young English player with a great future. He's very strong defensively, good on the ball with a great passing range. We're delighted Ben's signed and we look forward to him growing with us."
White will wear the No.4 shirt at Arsenal, which previously belonged to William Saliba, currently on loan with Marseille and yet to make a senior appearance for the club since signing for $37.5 million from Saint Etienne in 2019. White is the 11th center back Arsenal have signed in the past seven years; those players have cost Arsenal a combined $264million.