Arsenal’s persuit of Ben White was one of the worst-kept secrets of the summer transfer window, and with Mikel Arteta willing to pay through the nose to get his top target it would appear that the negotiations were very amicable.
They seemed to go on forever due to White’s inclusion in Gareth Southgates England squad, and they were probably even more protracted as Brighton tried to squeeze every last penny out of Arsenal, despite knowing that the player wanted the move as much as Arteta did.
Six games later and White is now returning to the Amex in Arsenal’s colours, and Graham Potter has been talking to the Argus about White’s tough start at the Emirates: “Whenever you move club, it’s not a straightforward situation.
“As much as we’d like to, it’s not so easy to hit the ground running.
“I think that Arsenal, as a team, had a tough game against Brentford as the first game of the season and they had lots of issues in terms of Covid, etc.
“So, not the perfect situation for him but Ben’s a resilient character.
“He’s a fantastic footballer and great guy. We all love him here.
“Apart from obviously this weekend, we wish him well – and I’m sure he will do well.
“I think everybody won from that situation.
“We got a good fee, they got a good player. Ben gets a chance to play at a club that he sees as a progression for him so everybody wins.”
That little dig about White seeing Arsenal as a progression is telling, as currently the Seagulls are only one point behind the League leaders and may be feeling very confident of making Ben White’s return to the Amex an unhappy one for him and his new team-mates.
This is going to a real test for Arteta and all his new players, and it should be a very entertaining evening…