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?