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Gary Neville admits he was wrong about one Arsenal star

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has admitted that he was wrong about one Arsenal star earlier in his career

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Gary Neville on Arsenal
Image credit: Getty Images

Former Manchester United defender and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has lavished praise on Arsenal star Ben White, hailing his evolution into a formidable right-back and drawing comparisons with Chelsea legends Cesar Azpilicueta and Branislav Ivanovic.

White, who joined Arsenal from Brighton in 2021, has emerged as a standout performer for the Gunners, exceeding expectations with his versatility and consistency on the right flank. While initially signed as a central defender with occasional midfield stints, the 26-year-old has seamlessly transitioned into a key role as a full-back in the Premier League.

Speaking on Monday Night Football, Neville admitted to harbouring reservations about White’s capabilities early in his Arsenal career. However, he now regards the Englishman as a top-tier right-back, likening his impact to that of Azpilicueta and Ivanovic during their illustrious spells at Chelsea.

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Arsenal defender Ben White

Arsenal defender Ben White (Image credit: Getty Images)

“I wasn’t sure about him, I’ll be honest,” Neville confessed. “Is he half a right-back & half a centre-back? That was my view, I wasn’t sure what he was… He’s developed into a really, really good right-back. I think of him now in the same quality this season, as Ivanovic & Azpilicueta for Chelsea for many years in that position. He deserves to be in [my team of the season].”

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Neville’s admiration for Arsenal’s defensive prowess extended beyond White, as he also included centre-backs Gabriel and William Saliba in his hypothetical team of the season, with Tottenham’s Destiny Udogie completing his back four.

Echoing Neville’s sentiments, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher expressed optimism about the potential of Arsenal’s defensive partnership, suggesting that Saliba and Gabriel could emulate the iconic duos of Premier League history if they maintain their synergy over the years.

“If Saliba and Gabriel stay together for the next three or four years, we’re talking about them alongside [Rio] Ferdinand and [Nemanja] Vidic, [Ricardo] Carvalho and [John] Terry,” Carragher remarked.

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