Former Arsenal captain slams Arteta for wasteful spending in transfer window

Mikel Arteta and Edu have made it very clear that this summer’s transfer strategy was to buy up-and-coming talent that already have extensive first team experience, and it looks like he has got a few bargains in Tomiyasu, Lokonga and Tavares, but could possibly have paid over the odds for Ramsdale and the 50million for Ben White.

The ex-Arsenal captain William Gallas certainly seems to be outraged about the purchase of White, who has only played one season in the Premier League in the whole of his career. “It’s difficult for me to understand why Arsenal spent £50m on one player who is yet to prove himself at the top level, and at the same time Manchester United can spend around £40m on Varane who won the World Cup and has four Champions League titles,” he told GentingBet, as quoted in the Mirror.

“He’s won the Spanish league. You have to explain to me how it’s possible. Perhaps it’s partly because Ben White is English.

“Listen, Varane is a different class player compared to Ben White. Ben White is still young.

“I respect him and I hope he will be the great player, but he hasn’t proven anything yet. You can’t compare Ben White and Varane, I’m sorry. It’s not possible.”

There are many people who would agree with Gallas, possibly even Arsene Wenger, who always maintained that defenders matured later and insisted on cool-headed experienced centre-backs in his line-ups.

But Arteta seems convinced that his policy of buying a youthful squad that can develop and grow together is the new way forward.

And if Ben White can grow to be an even better defender than Varane in the future, then surely it is worth bringing him to Arsenal at 23 years old rather than 28?

Arteta obviously thinks White is worth the investment, so we can only cross our fingers and hope he is right…

Tags Ben White William Gallas


  1. What Gallas failed to highlight, was the age differential and the fact that we currently have an outstanding young CB out on loan to Marseilles where he is performing very well.White is a good young player who I think will prove to be a successful acquisition, but there is little doubt that we have paid a hefty premium for him when our priority ought to have been to bring in his former team mate Bissouma who would add so much to our midfield area.Between them, Edu and Arteta have made an error of judgement in my opinion but let’s hope White goes on to prove all the doubters wrong.

  2. We probably have overpaid for White, but so what?
    The owner sanctioned the deal, the player wanted the move, so what’s his beef?

    Get Campbell in to teach Ben how to defend and become a legend and, then, when Varane retires, we will still have years of service from, hopefully anyway, a top international defender.

    Just another negative opinion from someone wanting to discredit MA and the club.

    1. Exactly Ken- this club has been accused of being indecisive in the past and quibbling over pennies. What I saw in this window was we identified the targets and went straight after them. How it turns out for then is a hindsight we don’t yet have. But White will be an excellent signing. Ramsdell will be our No1 keeper for the next decade. Lokonga looks impressive and his time will come. Tommy was just the perfect signing. Tavares was identified as a future player. What is not to like about these purchases? And this also from a player forced to pimp himself around every and any club that would take him on when getting towards the end of his career.
      Now suddenly he could be our DoF.

      1. Agree totally with Ken and Phil. It’s done, let’s forget about the price tag . Lets concentrate on whether he develops into our long term centre back.
        Damned if we do and damned if we don’t – too often accused of not paying what it takes to get the players we want, but when we do we are accused of paying too much!
        Early days but so far it looks like it may be a thumbs up on all 6 players bought, which is pretty amazing for any club let alone Arsenal.
        Exciting but all to no avail if the team as a whole doesn’t progress this season. No miracles expected, just a steady evolution into a decent, consistent, entertaining side. If I see us moving forward I will be happy. We potentially have several years of these six and our own youngsters developing, plus of course the next 6 great 23 year-olds next summer!

      2. I agree with phil, arsenal has always been considered indecisive,but if we managed to bring in all our targets,it’s a good start for the future ,let’s just hope things work out instead of criticizing arteta and edu for their boldness,let’s just support their decisions and give them courage .we are not in the champions league neither Europe, so we need players who can take us back to the top,Ben white came as the best candidate and we had to take the gamble .

  3. I differ with Gallas completely. To me Verane is finished, that price is good for him because I dont see him playing futher 3 more years. BUT B. White despite his nationality he will play for more than 5 seasons.

  4. Varane 41 mill transfer fee.
    Salary 68mill over 4 years.
    Total 109 million.
    He will be 32 at the contracts end.
    Varane is French.
    White 50mill transfer fee.
    Salary 24mill over 4 years
    Total 74mill.
    He will be 27 at the contracts end.
    White is English

  5. Galles, another ex Chelsea player, who sat crying in the middle of the pitch, and we should worry about what he says?

    1. @Declan
      Spot on Gooner. And for him doing that, I will never respect him or anything he has to say. He proved his mettle that day…😠

  6. Maybe Gals has a point in the short term, but long term maybe White will be more successful, nobody knows. Only time will tell. Certainly the United defender has got the experience advantage over White but White has got the age advantage and plays the Arteta required style. Whether he will be successful or not is anybody’s guess. One thing is sure though, Bissouma was a more important priority than White, we already had Saliba, but its Arteta’s decision finally.

  7. Sometimes you have to overpay if it means getting your first choice, or beating others to a player. We get a lot of stick when we refuse to meet prices demanded, many AFC fans have criticized us for penny pinching. You can’t have it both ways. It’s still a gamble no matter how much is paid but there is a positive to it, Arsenal spent more than everyone and shored up some places within the team. If Ben doesn’t make it to the top ..then we still have Saliba pushing him.. Also, we can eventually recoup some or most of monies back due to their age and capabilities.

  8. I can’t see what the criticism of White is all about, he looked pretty good in his last game, on the ground and in the air.

  9. ” You have to explain to me how it’s possible” (50M for White).

    Do keep up dear William.

    The club made PERFECTLY CLEAR their policy regarding the summer window just gone.

    Buy young players of potential , with a view to an increase in sell on value.

    Whether Gallas, you, I or any one else agree or disagree that was the clubs demographic policy for this window.

    Varane – thanks for the impressive history lesson but let’s see what he does in the here and now at their place going forward.

    Remember, Varane represents a diminishing return over the duration of his contract – so the pressure is on to deliver NOW.

    We on the other hand will have set off on a path to increase our asset base (which has been woefully lacking in recent times).

    After all, after a distinguished career Gallas himself became A MERE MAKEWEIGHT in the ASHLEY Cole deal.

    White has it all BEFORE him.

    1. Lol AJ. If, unlike financial investments, past performance WAS a guarantee of future returns, then Auba would still be a world beater, which he evidently no longer is. It’s just one of many indicators, and I have never understood some fans’ obsession with only buying players with a long success history or a high profile. For me that implies a potentially high cost, high maintenance, less ambitious time serving prima donna.

  10. Arteta is building a team that listen to him and willing to help each other as they grow, not a team of won everything egos who will negatively affect the dressing room because they were coached by the best. I think he is doing good up to so far.

      1. I assume you meant “trumps” Kenny?
        Any manager who wants himself and his team to be successful has to believe in himself to lead a team successfully. That doesn’t make him necessarily an egotist, nor somebody unwilling to learn or change , but when a manager doubts himself too much that’s the end.
        I am pretty sure that you knew that already Kenny, but just wanted to have a pop at Arteta.
        I wouldn’t mind if Arteta went, but it’s not his self belief per se that is the issue with me, it’s more the apparent reluctance to learn and change based on past mistakes.

  11. I’d say Gallas was a big waste of money and space by Monsuer Wenger, and look whose talking now! And Wenger’s cool experienced defenders – Mustafi, Kolasinac, Santos, Gabriel, Kim Kalstrome, wow! We missed out on Stones and Cahill, Ben will be a terrific CB for us.

    1. Kallstrom a CB? Bro, I know you want to put down Wenger but please get your facts straight lol. You could have said about Cygan or Senderos lol.

  12. whenever responders focus too much on the messenger in question instead of the message itself, the conclusions drawn will invariably be skewed…fact remains, it’s difficult to dispute what has been said, we paid over the number for an unproven player, who was the 4th best defensive player on his former club, after we had already invested quite heavily and wisely, I might add, in that very position with Gabs, Saliba, Mari and the re-upped Holding, with the latter two providing decent short-term cover…not to mention, we should have brought back Mavro for at least one season to properly assess…of course, I can only hope that White comes good, but it’s a bit of a stretch to think that he fits the “sell on value” narrative, considering his transfer fee and wage package…ultimately, whenever you don’t properly address your most pressing needs first, or at all, then questions will logically be raised, especially when you consider the money spent

  13. Hi TRVL.

    2019 Manchester United pay £80M for a 26 year old Maguire.

    2021 Arsenal sign 23 year old Ben White for 50M.

    Heading ability – Maguire.

    “Defending” – old school v modern centre back …… call it even.

    Recovery (pace) – White.

    Ability / Vision on the ball – White.

    Positional versatility – White.

    One has the advantage in terms of international status, however the younger of the 2 is currently a squad member.

    The debate over whether we overpaid for White has received many column inches, but given the clubs overall policy in the window just passed ( and Ben fulfilling his potential) I know where my lower threshold would be pitched in the event of a future sale.

    I tend to agree with you re’ the likelihood of profiting on White, but surely the potential is there to do just that.

    1. Much as I’d love to agree with you AJ I can’t. White could develop into a defender of Maguire’s ability he is way off at present. I would argue that Maguire is a better allround CB and even surpasses White as a ball carrier, and certainly as a goal threat.

  14. two wrongs don’t make a right…that said, the fact that you believe that White is on par with Maguire, from a defending standpoint, speaks volumes about your inherent biases towards our currently rostered player…no credible pundit/evaluator would ever postulate such a notion, as it’s a night and day comparison…as for White’s vision on the ball, the jury is still out, whereas I’ve seen Maguire pick a pass, both at LC and United, albeit he’s certainly not a magician on the ball…in the end, both weren’t what I would call sound investments, as they came from a place of either desperation, on United’s part, or abject naivety, on the part of our rather misguided managerial team, but the fact that United are playing European football and attempting to challenging for the title makes their potential problematic decision infinitely more tolerable

      1. Hi those above re, White / Maguire.

        Knew I was going out on a limb with this one. – but more than comfortable to go there.

        Biased, no – been around too long for such limitations to get in the way.

        Simply a difference of opinion.

        Don’t rate Maguire simple as that ….. again my opinion.

        Must be me on this one, as I always seen him as a bit of a donkey and was certainly not worthy of becoming the worlds most expensive centre back at the time ??????

        In closing, let me put this to you.

        How do you think Maguire would get on with Arteta’s commitment to a ball playing centre back … not a cats chance in hell – laughable.

        Whereas White. – tailor made.

        That’s where I am on this one.

        Horse for courses chaps.

        Also it was reported that the the player who surprised his peers in the last England camp was …….. Ben White.

        I’ll watch Whites progress thanks guys.

  15. December 2020.

    “Manchester United are considering a move for Brighton centre-back Ben White, according to reports.

    The Manchester Evening News suggest that the club are huge admirers” of the defender, who is on their wishlist of potential options “.

    Harry Maguire has reportedly urged Manchester United to go all out to sign Brighton defender Ben White this summer.”

    Felt you needed at little help at the back Harry ?

    Never mind, they got you Varane .

    My original comment was largely based on 23 years of age huge POTENTIAL, and the outlay for the respective players.

    Sometimes a bit of forward thinking and vision goes a long way.

  16. oh yeah, your opinions are definitely not tainted by your biases??? I’m not a huge fan of Harry’s either, but I don’t allow this to negatively impact my evaluation of him as a footballer…classic cake and eat it too scenario, as you claim you don’t rate Maguire whatsoever but as soon as you needed to prop-up your whole White narrative, you didn’t hesitate for one second to use Harry’s supposed admiration for the player as a means to an end…know thyself bud

    1. “ you didn’t hesitate for one second to use Harry’s supposed admiration for the player as a means to an end…know thyself bud“

      Listen TRVL, I don’t rate Harry Maguire as a footballer FULL STOP.

      I simply SPEAK MY OPINION .

      And as for your completely pathetic statement above.

      What has Maguires request for M U to land White got to do with his playing ability????

      All your “quote” does is make Maguire a better SCOUT than PLAYER – perhaps on that we can agree.

      And try dropping the condescending “Bud” bit, you may just come across a a tad more sincere and make yourself worth debating with on the odd occasion.

      I can certainly see where Ken is coming from !

      1. that my friend is what we call a self-fulfilling prophecy, as it appears as if you engaged with the deranged hope that things would go exactly as they had…it likely didn’t even matter what I said, unless I agreed with your original cherry-picked narrative…as for your little conniption over the usage of the term “bud”, give your head a shake, as it certainly didn’t warrant such an obvious overreaction…how ironic that you would found that so incredibly condescending, yet you eagerly saddled up to another poster well known for doing likewise, both with words and ridiculous emojis…please remember that it was you that went out of your way, purposely I might add, to respond to my original post, not visa versa

  17. “ridiculous emojis…“

    Keep making it up as you go along, I don’t use emojis ?

    You say so very much, but actually say nothing at all.

    Personally I have come to the conclusion you are merely on this site to get under people’s skin whilst somehow amusing yourself.

    Are you even an Arsenal fan, not that this is a pre-requisite, but I repeat your comments are often more geared to length than substance.

    I find your comments quite vacuous, waffling and boring in their high handed similarity.

    Just me perhaps.

    From your stupid attention seeking tag, to your ridiculous verbal diarrhoea – throughly boring.

    Have a great life in your own little world- however you may share that with.

    Oh, and say a little about the Arsenal on here now again if your knowledges base allows.

  18. Admin comment…
    @ TRVL….You just spent ten minutes of your life insulting another Arsenal fan. You need to look at your priorities. Are you here to discuss football or insult people?

    1. what do you call his comments then??? I was simply replying in kind, yet for some reason there’s two completely different set of rules depending on your personal club-related leanings, which is why his comments remain untouched

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