Ben White ticks all the right boxes in Arsenal’s recruitment policy

I have often said ‘to be a big club you need to think like a big club’. Part of doing that is being honest enough about the situation you are in.

What I like about Arsenal’s recruitment policy this summer is that there is a clear criteria about the type of player we are after.

As things stand, we are unable to compete with the Manchester clubs and Chelsea, both in terms of our owners ambition and the fact we can’t offer European Football.

If you can’t buy a world class talent you have to be creative and think outside the box.

What Arsenal have decided to do is build a young squad where we could develop our own world class prospects.

Whether we go that extra mile and add more additions in the next two weeks remains to be seen, but Ben White ticks all the boxes.

A young defender, good on the ball, versatile, who is at an age where he will only get better.

He’s played in all pyramids of English Football so can battle when needed as well.

It reminds me of years ago when we refused to meet Bolton’s valuation for Gary Cahill based on a couple of million difference in an opinion,

He could have been our leader for the next decade.

This is not me discriminating against other nations, but I like the idea of having a British centreback.

You are less likely to want to move abroad if you were born in the UK, and would have grown up knowing the Gunners as one of the biggest clubs in the country.

We have had to pay over the odds but that applies to any England International.

Gooners who argue our form was the third best since Xmas and therefore we didn’t need to improve at the back shouldn’t let stats trick you.

The only information that matters is we finished 8th for consecutive years meaning this is our worst squad in 25 years.

If your finishing in our worst position for a quarter of a century then that means every area of the team needs improving, not one player can argue if their place is under threat.

This run we went on from January to May still entailed Liverpool, Everton and City winning at the Emirates while Palace and Fulham got draws at our ground.

In that spell we lost at Southampton, Villa and Wolves and drew at Burnley.

So nothing special.

Certainly not enough to suggest Arsenal couldn’t benefit from having one of the best emerging defenders.

He was exceptional when he got promoted with Leeds and followed that up with a solid debut in the top flight.

At Brighton greats become heroes …. but at Arsenal …. heroes become legends….


Be kind in the comments



Tags Arteta ben white


    1. Really interesting. We are confident he[Ben] will become legend. As gunners, we don’t shoot invain. Up gunners!

  1. great signing, i am really happy about this one
    massive improvement, not just in defence but for how we want to play in general

    I just love this

    1. Totally agree Val.

      Ben White was clearly identified as bringing a number of attributes to the side going forward, that were perceived as lacking .

      More than simply buying a centre back, more part of the jigsaw In our transitional phase.

  2. Indeed. Since Saliba has been loaned out, White would most likely be the first-choice right CB

    I think Luiz is taller, but I believe White has better ball control. I’m curious about his long passing skill

  3. Next on the line should be Houssem Aouar en after that Daniel Podence should follow as he will be a good aquisition

  4. If this one 50 million investment is going to unshackle our forwards from their defensive responsibilities, I’ll be delighted for the coming season.

    1. Yeah, it feel so, from the YouTube I watched him being very capable. Leno should just focus, this guy would help him a lot, if he is not going to be stranded going for attack.

  5. Pretty much echos what I was trying to explain to Logic last night on another thread.

    But of course any “ Logic” met with the usual anti Arteta rhetoric.

    We read on here the “no excuses” this coming season.

    Wherever you stand on the Arteta in or Out “debate” can I ask – who exactly is disagreeing with that ????

  6. We don’t often agree, but Dan is spot on. Arsenal have modified there recruitment policy by buying to build. All additions this window have a greater potential for future financial reward as well as providing the club with raw young talent. The youth in our squad and academy provides me with hope for our future.

    1. Of course Ozgooner.

      There was a clear edict handed down from Kroenke as to the player demographic he expected to be purchased in this window.

      Is it a “coincidence” White, ASL & Tavares all fit said demographic.

      “What plan, what process” – it starts and is still “rubbish” to some ??????

      Also there is of course bringing in players that fit the bill in terms of playing style which M A WILL instil , which I suspect may change this coming year … energetic high press, quicker transition.

      I guarantee if Citeh, Chelski, Manure or L/pool brought White in it would immediately have been hailed as good business – our place, some sharpen the knives…. for all the wrong reasons.

      “No excuses “ next year ? – absolutely, who is saying differently ?

      Really looking forward to the coming season, and I and so many of us Gooners wish the team. and Mikel Arteta all the very best.

      Under achieve – there can only be one outcome.

      1. @ A J. I disagree with the playing style. If it was the energetic aggressive, high press quick transition playing style then we won’t be offering xhaka a new deal

      2. Kroenke does not give edicts re: the type of personnel to be signed. He knows nothing about the game and relies on the hired help for those decisions.

    2. Totally agree with the premise, but I also hope that Hale End graduates are given opportunities to “strut their stuff”. Positives are Saka, ESR, Willock, Balogun, Azeez, Lopez, plus the players on loan like Moller, John-Jules, Ballard.

  7. Very underwhelming but I hope people don’t put too much pressure on him. He is only 23 years old.

  8. I was just thinking about it. Ain’t us fans so fickle?
    I remember when United were buying the likes of Wan Bissaka for £45 million.

    City were buying Stones for £50 million.

    Liverpool buying Van Djik for £70 million

    Chelsea were buying Chilwell for £50 million


    We as Arsenal fans kept pointing to these clubs as being serious and ambitious. “Look, liverpool, Chelsea, City, United etc are willing to spend big on defenders while we are wasting our money on Luiz, Mari etc.”.

    Now we have spent £50 million on a CB we are still moaning and whining about value for money. I am also included in this category. Lol

    It’s really weird.

  9. @ A J. I disagree with the playing style. If it was the energetic aggressive, high press quick transition playing style then we won’t be offering xhaka a new deal

  10. @Goonster arsenal have the worst fanbase in the epl, even though I don’t have high hopes for the coming season I will give the team my full support. I just pity Ben white and lokonga the fans will show vile and bitter part very soon when the season starts lols

    1. Thank you for sharing my observations.. I think the fan base needs to chill and support not being antagonistic every time a result goes wrong.. it’s not like our team is shit other clubs have been out buying us in the market.. now we finally decide to compete in the market fans are still complaining.. I think if Xhaka signs a new deal my summer transfer can close.

  11. The way we’re recruiting seems to me like a long term project, I hop we don’t end up like in the Wenger era ‘feeder club’ tag and this young lads stay around for a decade.

  12. Dan…

    Nice article! And great writing ability!

    A new season on the horizon and a lot to be learnt and much to be desired from the Arsenal. Above all, I believe confidence will have a lot to do with how far we can go this season. And only players with such qualities have been bought: Nuno, Lokonga, and White, all boasting of great confidence levels… One more strong character in the attacking midfield may cap a good summer for us.

    Looking forward to a good season of great articles from you!


      1. Hi Sid!

        I took a winter break over here! It was necessary to get fired up for another new and I trust exciting season ahead!

        I am safe and also glad to know you are well, alive, and healthy!! Thank you for your positive energy! Our world needs many with such positive energies! Hope to catch up with your comments more often!

        Remain safe and God bless you!


        1. Thanks for the kind words Fire!
          I hope everyone, including Arsenal has a good 21-22 season, and we interact more in the comments.

  13. I think the reason why most fans are complaining about the purchase of white is because he is not our priority.

    We were rated among the top defensive teams last season (I think we were third in epl last season), we were also among the top 10 worst in the mid field.
    We have good strikers in auba and laca but they were almost practically incapable of winning games for us because they are not getting enough service from the midfielders.
    Common sense demand we strengthen our weak areas first. To add salt to injury, there are rumours our most inconsistence and error prone xhaka is going to be awarded a contract extension with improved pay. For what exactly, is it for his notorious side way/backward passes or for gifting the opposition cheap goals on many occasions or for his slow pace and reckless fouls.

    Saliba has been sent out on loan and 50m spent on a defender while ignoring the vital areas.

    This can only happen when you hand over a great club to an apprentice.

  14. Hi Mrcool.

    “ I think the reason why most fans are complaining about the purchase“.

    Are they ?

    A few in the J A bubble erhaps, but overall I would say the Arsenal fan base is excited by Whites arrival.

    However, our window can’t stop here.

    The window remains open, how are we privy to the information we’re done regarding other areas of the side ?

  15. Rightly or wrongly, Arteta decided that neither Saliba and Mavroponas are ready for the Arsenal first team squad, and with the departure of Luiz the recruitment of another centre back is not too surprising.In recruiting Ben White we have secured a player who will bring pace to our back four which has hitherto been missing.After being voted Leeds player of the year when they won promotion, when he played in every league game, he returned to Brighton where his good form shone through to the extent that he was called into the England Euro squad .He is clearly a young player of considerable ability who hopefully will have a great future at Arsenal.The fact that we have to pay a premium for English based players has been recognized for some time, but in relation to his age, ability and potential for further development ,50 m may turn out to be money well spent .Whether we make further midfield signings depends on whether we can sell the likes of Xhaka, AMN,Torreria and Kolasinac.If we can, I have no doubt we will strengthen the midfield area notwithstanding our clutch of talented youngsters such as Lokonga ,EMR , Willock and Azeez.Patience is a virtue which seems to be lacking in many fans who “contribute” to JA particularly during transfer windows, but hopefully more upgrades to our squad will be made before too long.

    1. Sadly Grandad, those who constantly moan, moan and moan endlessly, probably have GREAT GRANDADS still alive. Its a different and self entitled world with “children” today!

    2. One box White does not tick is height. 50 million for a 6 foot CB. Height is not everything but most world class CB’s are tall.

    3. 👍 Well said, Grandad. One can argue that at least money was spent, even if you think the position priority was wrong.

  16. Want to agree with you on this Dan. My only fear is we blew out budget on White and with a net spend of 80 million around we may not see any more arrivals. I am all for using players that we have, but if the play style and tactics wont change, would our results be any different? I am someone who is right on the fence on MA, and I hope for Gooners’ sakes all over the world this signing pays off. Just like you said, he ticks all boxes except priority in my humble opinion. We are in requirement of a midfield profile, our a drastic shift to a ultra counter attacking style (something like Mourinho 2011 but a modern version) in order to achieve results this season. Because the players we have might be more successful in that system like Willock and Aubameyang. But, the windows still open, so lets wait and watch.

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