‘Paid far too much’ – Former PL star & Self-confessed Arsenal fan slams ‘mistake’

Self-confessed Arsenal fan Kevin Phillips has criticised the decision to pay a reported £50 Million to buy Ben White from Brighton this summer.

The former Premier League striker believes that the fee will not only pile pressure on the Gunners’ new signing, but claims the signing was a mistake on the back of ‘one good season’.

White’s signing was confirmed yesterday after a drawn out negotiation process, with the defender on international duty when a fee was agreed between Brighton and Arsenal, before he was allowed to go on holiday prior to completing his medical, which was done this week.

Phillips isn’t happy with the deal however, and insists that while White matches what the manager wants to bring to the club, he is more concerned that the fee paid will prove tough to handle for the young England international.

“It’s a lot of pressure to put on a young player,” Phillips told the Football Insider.

“For me, Arsenal have paid far too much. It’s a lot of money. The fee is a mistake.

“He is a quality player but he’s had one good season. He was good at Leeds but then he’s had one decent season in the Premier League with Brighton.

“£50million is a hell of a lot of money and what that brings is pressure.

“We’ve seen some young players over the years who just can’t handle it.

“Being an Arsenal fan, I’m concerned. There’s a bit of doubt there, can he step up in that first season?

“Undoubtedly, he has quality. He matches what Arteta is trying to do in playing out from the back.

“He travels well with the ball so my only concern is the pressure of that fee.

“Ultimately he will get better and better as time goes on.”

I could be wrong, but I feel like it is usually players who arrive from other countries, and generally players in attacking roles that can sometimes struggle with adjusting after big-money moves, and that defenders can generally cope with such demands, and I don’t personally feel like White’s transfer fee will have any bearing on his performance level.

Can you name some expensive defenders who failed to live up to their transfer fees?


Tags Ben White Kevin Phillips


  1. John stones and Luke Shaw – yeah they both were great last season, but it was a long time to wait given how much they both cost

    1. Don’t think we could wait that long for White – everyone should get some leeway in their first season but he needs to be showing promise early and making a big difference by the second half of the season realistically

  2. Lols Arsenal fans are the most vile and negative of all epl fans, watch Ben white, lokonga get ruined by harsh comments from bitter people called arsenal fans. The fans are the reason why Arsenal is still stagnant

    1. Lokonga is a bargain buy, we couldnt spend 40m on buendia but we spent 50m on white and let 30m saliba go on loan again, we have brains in our head and wont think those are all smart moves

      1. lokonga and buendia aren’t the same type of players at all. Lokonga isn’t bargain bin either, 20mill is a normal amount of pay for a young player with potential.

  3. Not all of us Azila.
    As a matter of fact I don’t think those with the harsh comments are true gooners.

  4. Virtually every EPL Club has been guilty of paying too much for certain players over the years, with Leicester perhaps being the only exception.In terms of costly mistakes, Barca must top the League after paying circa 130m for Coutinho who they now cannot give away.Mustafi at 35m must take the biscuit as far as Arsenal is concerned.

  5. Why does anyone think – assuming SOME do – that Phillips view is any more relevant than any other Gooner on JA!

    I DO NOT think that personally and I DO NOT AGREE WITH HIM EITHER. Compare £35 ,ill for Xhaka and even worse, the same fee(more or less) for MUSTAFI, yes Mustafi no less and White looks the bargainof all time.

    I said it on another thread today but, as an older Gooner, I have to go all the way back to the younger David O’Leary in the 1970’s to think of another single CB of ours who had the skill and mobility on the ball and forward passing ability of White.
    Not Adams, Bould, Keown, Campbell, Kos, Merts and no other CB , however defensively sound MOST of those were(not Merts).
    Kolo Toure, a CONVERTED CB was perhaps the nearest with mobility and forward passing ability.
    That is a priceless asset that I CONFIDENTLY PREDICT ALL WILL BE SAYING a year from now.

  6. Good point but what can Arsenal do if Brighton were not ready to sell for less. It is typical case English talent at inflated cost. Arsenal or Ben can not be blamed in this case

  7. Oh! What’s wrong with some of us gooners, just mourning every now and then what should be given to you

  8. He (KP) can harp on all he likes, nothing is putting a dampener on this signing as far as I’m concerned!

  9. Just as the folk here on J A , so called pundits will agree / disagree.

    For instance here’s Jamie Redknap’s take on Ben White ;

    “There’s a centre-back there who is going to go right to the top. He is so comfortable on the ball, you can see why Leeds wanted to keep him.

    He’s destined for an amazing future, that young man, I love him.”

    I’ll go with J R one this one .

  10. He is a good signing he has a chance to prove himself he has done it and he will do it again

  11. White is 23 not 13, and well aware of the prices of highly rated English players. I’m sure he’ll be fine.,

  12. not bothered by the cost. He’s a good CB and will be a good signing. arsenal just need to address the other issues and NOT give contracts to players taht dont make us better.

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