Albion Analytics: Ben White

All the stats that led to the defender's call-up to the England squad.

By Liam Tharme • 26 May 2021

By Paul Hazlewood
Ben White has been named in England's preliminary squad ahead of Euro 2020.

Ben White has topped off a stellar first Premier League season with his inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s provisional England squad ahead of Euro 2020.

Should White feature at the finals, he will become the first Brighton player since Steve Foster in the 1982 World Cup in Spain to represent the Three Lions at a major international tournament.

The 23-year-old has played the most minutes (3,191) of any Albion player this season, making him among the top 15 Premier League outfielders for minutes clocked. His versatility will have caught Southgate’s eye as – according to Understat – over a quarter of White’s minutes have come when he was playing as a No.4 or full back.

Whilst not particularly exceptional in any one area, it is White’s ability as both a ball-playing and ball-winning central defender that has helped to secure his inclusion. Ranked against Europe big-five league defenders over the last year, White sits inside the top 25% for dribbles attempted, dribbles into final third, successful (open-play) passes into the penalty area, midfield-third pressures and tackles and opposition passes blocked. Data from February shows just how consistently White has performed towards the top of his positional charts.

His ability to operate close to goal as well as further up-field is reflected in his output for pressures and tackles in the defensive and midfield thirds with 184 defensive-third pressures and 28 tackles, 188 midfield-third pressures and 24 tackles. Teammates Adam Webster and Lewis Dunk were the only two Brighton players (500+ minutes played) to record a higher percentage of pressures leading to turnovers inside five seconds, with 35% of White’s leading to such. That success rate is the fifth best of any Premier League player to start the season who is aged under-24.

It is important not to forget White’s age lack of experience at this level, having just completed his first Premier League season aged 23. Aston Villa’s Ezri Konsa (45) and Everton’s Ben Godfrey (39) are the only under-24 Premier League players to have blocked more shots than White (25). He and Godfrey are the only players in that age category to have recorded 25 plus shots blocked and 45 plus interceptions.