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Arsenal's one true undroppable after Tottenham loss has been revealed as Ben White is replaced

By Tashan Deniran-Alleyne

There's a new name have played the most minutes for Arsenal this season, meaning Mikel Arteta's one true undroppable when it comes to naming his strongest starting XI week-in, week-out when he has a fully fit squad available for selection has effectively been revealed.

At the beginning of March, Ben White was certainly proving to be worth every penny of his £50m transfer fee by playing 2,378 minutes of football since arriving from Brighton & Hove Albion - which, at the time, was the most of any player across the Gunners' first-team squad.

But after missing wins over West Ham United and Leeds United with a hamstring issue and then not being risked from the bench in the North London Derby loss against Tottenham Hotspur, the 24-year-old has slipped from first to second and it won't surprise many who has replaced him.

READ MORE: Arteta drops scary White selection hint as Xhaka shouts at ref: Arsenal moments missed vs Spurs

As per transfermarkt, Bukayo Saka is now the Arsenal player with the most minutes this season across all competitions with 3,191 - which is three minutes more than White after he completed the full 90 against Spurs on Thursday night.

Interestingly, even without European football, the Gunners have played 43 games so far this campaign, including the five Carabao Cup games and the one FA Cup tie, and the England international has made the matchday squad for every single one of them - only failing to make an appearance twice.

Furthermore, it's safe to say Saka has made the most of his minutes this season with 12 goals and six assists which have earned him a Premier League Player of the Season nomination alongside London-based duo Son Heung-min and Jarrod Bowen as well as the likes of Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kevin de Bruyne.

There's still time for White to reclaim the crown as Arsenal's most reliable player as he needs to play a minimum of four more minutes than Saka in the final two games of the season. With that said, he is a doubt for Monday's fixture away at Newcastle United after not being called upon when Gabriel Magalhaes was pulled from proceedings in the North London Derby.

"To take that risk [of bringing on Ben White] in the situation of the game made no sense," Arteta explained. "Our focus is Newcastle. This game is history. He felt something so hopefully Ben will be fit, and Gabriel will recover as we do not have enough players in the backline. He felt something, so we will have to wait and assess him, but yeah it’s a real issue because now Rob is out as well, and Ben is just coming (back) from injury."

Although should White miss the game against Newcastle or the home game with Everton then he could drop to third in the list of Arsenal players to have played the most minutes this season as he will almost certainly be overtaken by Aaron Ramsdale provided he's fit for the remaining fixtures.

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Dive Deeper:
Mikel Arteta provides worrying update on Gabriel amid Rob Holding red card appeal decision
The Gunners are looking short in the centre back position amid injuries to Ben White and Gabriel and a red…
Mikel Arteta has three defence combinations for Newcastle after Gabriel Magalhaes muscle injury
Arsenal face Newcastle with potentially no orthodox defenders available after Gabriel Magalhaes' injury but Mikel Arteta has options
Arsenal's defensive crisis ahead of Newcastle clash is not helped by Premier League ruling
Arsenal are facing a defensive crisis ahead of Monday's clash against Newcastle with Rob Holding suspended and Gabriel Magalhaes joining…
Bukayo Saka and Ben White in Arsenal squad to give Mikel Arteta huge boost vs Tottenham
Arsenal are boosted by the return of two key players ahead of the north London derby tonight.
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Ben White's Tottenham worry, Bukayo Saka knock: Arsenal injury news ahead of north London Derby
Arsenal sweat over the fitness of Ben White and Bukayo Saka ahead of north London Derby
Arsenal injury news and expected return dates vs Newcastle: Ben White, Gabriel, Thomas Partey
Arsenal sweat over the fitness of centre-backs Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes in race for UEFA Champions League qualification
Get all your news in one place