Owen picks out ‘underrated’ Arsenal star for special praise after Crystal Palace victory

Joe Williams
Michael Owen speaks about Arsenal

Michael Owen reckons Arsenal defender Ben White has been one of the most “underrated” players of the season for the Gunners.

The 25-year-old spent most of last season playing at centre-back for Mikel Arteta’s side but he’s been utilised as a right-back this term with William Saliba stealing his role in the centre of defence.

White has been impressive when called upon for Arsenal this term with the England international making 25 Premier League starts for Arteta’s men.

Arsenal are having a brilliant season with the Gunners currently top of the Premier League and eight points clear of second-placed Manchester City, although the Citizens have one game in hand.

And, after watching Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 4-1 on Sunday, Owen was impressed by White’s link-up play with Gunners team-mate Bukayo Saka.

“That partnership was particularly impressive,” Owen told Premier League Productions. “That combination play is very important for Arsenal.

“Ben White gets forward, he links the play and has the pace to get back when he needs to.

“There was a lovely moment towards the end of the game where he made a tackle and was celebrating. I feel he’s a bit of a underrated player for Arsenal at the moment.”

Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Oleksandr Zinchenko and others have rightly been getting lots of praise for their performances this season but White deserves a mention too.

And former Middlesbrough midfielder and NBC Sports pundit Robbie Mustoe echoed Owen’s comments and feels White is “under-appreciated”.

“Ben White is growing as a full-back,” Mustoe told The 2 Robbies Podcast. “More really as a central defender when he came from Brighton, but he’s got a natural ability to play in different spots.

“He’s quick, he’s a good defender, he’s surprisingly safe and steady on the ball. He showed with his little assist today, he poked a ball through to Bukayo Saka for his lovely goal.

“He did a great job on Zaha for the most part after that first little run. And I think he’s a player I don’t think people appreciate how good he is actually, Ben White.

“There’s so many other players to watch in the Arsenal side, I get that. But if you watch what he does with the ball, his defensive side of things, his passing side of things, I think Ben White is a little under-appreciated.”

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