Getting Ben White for £50 million is starting to look like a bargain after initial skepticism

Ben White, what a player he has turned out to be for Arsenal. Remembering his earlier days at Arsenal, many criticised him as not a £50 million player, saying Arsenal had been conned. “They’ve spent £50 million on a centre-half in Ben White, who’s good but £25 million too much,” said Gabby Aghbanolar, on Talksport, about White’s Arsenal move back then.

“Brighton are probably thinking- happy days!- Adam Webster and Lewis Dunk are arguably better natural defenders.” However, if you flash forward to present day, you can’t argue that Arsenal got value for their money in this deal.

Darren Bent, a die-hard Gooner, recently had words for those who criticised Arsenal’s deal for White. “He [Arteta] has had to put his trust and faith in some of these young players,” said Bent on Talksport, as quoted by HITC. “Even £50 million for Ben White; people were like, ‘What?!

“All of a sudden, what a signing that looks like.”

When Ben White was signed, the deal was for him to fortify Arsenal’s central defence, and that is what he did in his first full season at Arsenal. He and Gabriel made Arsenal’s defence one to be envied by their Premier League rivals. Many didn’t expect the White-Gabriel partnership to be broken ahead of this season, but with Saliba’s return, we saw White’s versatility, seeing him being deployed at right back. And what an impact he has brought to the right wing. When one is writing about how good Arsenal have been this season, he will be biassed not to mention what a revelation White was, and he or she will probably describe White as a centre back who impressed covering at right back.

Or vice versa?

Daniel O

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  1. I was one of those who said we were conned ? But thank goodness I do not recruit for Arsenal, Edu and Arteta knows exactly what they want, and Benjamin White proves that.
    That 50 million seems like a steal now.

  2. I’d say he’s justified the 50mil, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying it was a bargain. Arteta is said to be in the market for another right back, this makes me wonder if its an upgrade or maybe he’s not happy with the back up or maybe there could be some tactical change with how we operate in that position, just wondering.

    But for me am really happy with the options that we have in this position.

    1. I agree that he’s justified the fee without being a bargain – and that is an acknowledgement that I was wrong, because I did think we overpaid quite significantly.
      I think arteta is looking for a different option. I wouldn’t be surprised if he introduced a new formation next season, with the idea of us being able to switch it up for different opposition. White could be playing CB in a 3 for some games, and RB in 4 for others.
      Also, Tomi hasn’t been at his best for most of this season, and we may be looking for an alternative to him.

  3. I think it’s fair to say that most fans , while recognising the quality of White, were justified in considering the price paid to Brighton excessive particularly as the lad had yet to establish himself in the international arena.These doubts gathered momentum after his inauspicious debut against Brentford, but thankfully he has developed well and is now a very important cog in the Arsenal side.His pace and versatility means he can slot into a number of positions .Personally I feel his best position is at right CB in a back three where he can use space to drive forward and commit the opposition to lose their defensive shape.While we play ostensibly with a back four, out of possession, White invariably moves back to support Saliba and Gabriel to form a back three.White is not without his weaknesses.He could be more aggressive in the air and there are occasions when he tends to ball watch rather than stay tight to his direct opponent who has run off him.That said he has improved in his defensive duties and very few goals are conceded from his side of the pitch.I could go on but sufficient to say Ben White has proved to be a sound buy who should be a a big asset for the team for many years.

    1. I think a big concern with him playing fullback is that he’s not the best at 1v1s, but he’s actually been fine. Whether that’s because I misjudged him, or because he’s improved, or because we’ve been clever in dealing with tricky wingers collectively, I’m not sure, but it’s not been a serious issue.
      “sufficient to say Ben White has proved to be a sound buy who should be a a big asset for the team for many years”
      Spot on

  4. Leaving aside the truism that ALL players should be worth far less, in monetary terms, than they actually are, White has been an outstanding success and those who naively and hastily criticised MA for paying £50 mill are now looking foolish.
    I stress that I loathe the mad transfer rmarket fees and also the mad wages that are ruining the spirit of the game .

    BUT, judged by that horrendous set of values, which is sadly the reality, White has been a resounding success.

  5. To me, is a sound buy but never justified is 50M price tag. He’s improving which is even more better. but saying him and Gabriel had a combination the other rival are envy off is telling a lie. No one is jealous of that pair last season not even me as an Arsenal fan.
    Gabriel is far better than last season and we all know why. Gabriel is a kind of player who is always fantastic in half a season, and when is fantastic, our defense looks good but when is not is bad and his partner is not there to cover him up. But this season was different, he wasn’t fantastic before the worldcup but Saliba is there to cover his blotches, and after the worldcup, Saliba lose a bit of form and Gabriel took the mantle by covering for him. That’s a defense to envy.

    And while saying all that, i’m so happy we signed him cos he’s a revelation to this team and i believe he can cover 3 positions very well. Let Goooo BW4

  6. I was surprised that Arteta moved things around and upgraded so easily, as I thought we looked defensively sound when White Tomi Tierney Partey Gab were all fit and raring to go in a full lineup top to bottom. White uprooting has made a great bit of difference, as White fills in at the back to allow Partey and Zinchenko a bit more freedom at times. I love seeing defensive solidity in the players at the back, but I believe Arteta will get an attacking rb option who can step into midfield, I believe he will want that capability. If we can get that and keep Tierney and White also Tomi, they would be great options to have

  7. And the mindless defensive fool Southgate picks Dier and Maquire over Benny, the man should have walked away from the job, allow someone with tactics in attacking to take over, to get the best out of Saka link Benny with him as they have done all season. Southgate makes a mockery of selection picking Toney who will be banned for at least six months to be included. One of the reasons why I struggle to watch England with Southgate, all that talent and he still can’t get it right

  8. Some unbelievable selections from Southgate who seems to be so blinkered and cautious .How on Earth can he pick the likes of Maguire, Phillips, Dier and Gallagher and leave out class players like White and Timori and what has Ollie Watkins to do to find a place?

  9. Southgate is an idiot, clueless with tactics, England has some of the best players in Europe and we have a manager who doesn’t have a clue, and lies all the time about picking the best players, Toney will be banned for at least six months so why has he picked him, no logic, the man is a dinosaur and should have walked after the WC.

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