It’s back-to-back London derbies this week, with Fulham the visitors at Emirates Stadium on Saturday following Monday night’s trip to Crystal Palace.
Ben White is expecting another battle for the three points when Marco Silva’s side come to N5, but revealed he won’t miss the sight of Aleksandar Mitrovic lining up for the Cottagers, who recently moved to Saudi Pro League club Al Hilal.
“I played against him in the Championship as well and that was always hard, so he’s a very good striker and one that I’m quite pleased to see go!” he laughed. “It’s going to be a tough game. They’re going to be coming to Arsenal wanting to get some points, so it’s our job to do what we need to do.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game [against Palace]. They’re a very good side with a very good manager who knows what he’s doing. Especially with 10 men, it’s a hard place to go.
"I don’t think you’ve seen the best of what we can do. We’re looking to be better than last year."
At the age of 25, Ben is already one of the most experienced players in our youthful squad.
“We’re all quite young," he said. "I’m probably one of the oldest now, so it’s a fresh group and there is exciting talent coming through.”
Recently described by Rob Holding as a ‘mentality monster’, Ben’s positive mindset and belief that we can beat any team has seen him develop significantly since he arrived at the club in July 2021.
“I came as a boy after switching round loads of clubs and I was out on loan a lot. I went to Brighton and played a season, so this is the first club I’ve been at for a few years. I’ve come back in pre-season to play in the same team, and I’ve grown as a person and a player.”
One player helping Ben grow is the young man he often shares a right wing with - academy graduate Bukayo Saka. “He’s amazing,” Ben said. “I’ve said before that he makes me look so much better than I am! He’s doing it on a consistent basis which is so important. At his age, it’s amazing.”
Looking back on the feeling of beating Manchester City in the Community Shield at Wembley earlier this month, Ben hopes it’s the first of many pieces of silverware in 2023/24.
“If there’s a trophy available then it’s nice to get one as soon in the season as possible,” he said. “We’re hoping for more in the rest of the season. To win the Premier League is not just about beating City, it’s everyone. They’re an amazing side and have done it for so long but, on their day, anyone can beat anyone.”