By Noel Whelan

3rd Jul, 2021 | 12:22pm

Whelan excited by Everton ambition as White talks reportedly get underway

Noel Whelan has claimed Brighton defender Ben White would be an “absolutely fantastic” signing for Everton or Arsenal this summer.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 23-year-old has everything to become a star for both club and country.

As reported by the Daily Mail (July 1st), Everton have held talks with Brighton over a deal worth a potential £55million for the centre-back.

It is said the proposal trumps the £46million offer tabled by Arsenal as the Seagulls hold out for £50million-plus.

Whelan, who watched White star for Leeds United during the 2019/20 campaign, insisted the defender was worth the money.

He admitted Everton’s approach demonstrated their aspirations under new manager Rafel Benitez.

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Asked if a move for White showed huge ambition from Everton, Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Yeah, absolutely huge.

“He’s one of those natural, modern-day centre-halves that covers everything. He’s got pace, he’s good in the air, he’s great on the ball and with the ball at his feet.

“He can play into that defensive midfield role as well. We keep saying adapting to different roles and that’s why Gareth Southgate has him. It’s not just as a centre-half.

It doesn’t surprise me. Everton know how important it is to have these British players as well in their side. Definitely, Rafa Benitez will.

“Whoever gets him is getting an absolutely amazing, long-term centre-half. I’m sure he’ll be in the England setup for many, many years.”

White played 36 times for Brighton in his debut season in the Premier League.

He made his England debut against Austria in June.

In other news, Football Insider pundit has slaughtered “washed-up” Benitez after joining Everton.