Why Arsenal were right to spend 50m on Ben White (plus video)

When Mikel Arteta and Edu spent shedloads of money in the summer transfer window, many Arsenal fans questioned why we would have spent the largest part of our kitty buying a centre-back, but Ben White is certainly proving the naysayers wrong, and has won over his critics as the season has progressed.

With Aaron Ramsdale between the sticks and White’s excellent partnership with Gabriel, the Gunners now have a formidable defence, and the 24 year-old is one of the first names on Arteta’s team sheet in every single game.

After Arsenal managed to keep Liverpool out on Thursday after going down to ten men, Arteta singled out White for a special mention after the game. The Boss told Arsenal.com: “”He’s just moved to our club and he’s just been here just for a few months but he has something and he wants to do it,”

“He’s very demanding with himself, he’s really willing to learn and improve his game and he’s in the right place.

“In terms of the qualities that I saw in him and what is required for us to try to recruit somebody like him with his qualities, it was clear. Then those personalities as well, that chemistry has to exist [between White and Gabriel].

“We can see they really enjoy playing together, you can see that, that chemistry is there and that’s a massive extra when you are looking to build something at the back.”

If Arsenal do end up back in Europe next season, then I doubt there will be many Arsenal fans saying that we shouldn’t have spent that 50m on Ben White, would there?

Enjoy!

Watch Mikel Arteta’s Press Conference ahead of Tottenham – “We want to play”

Tags Arteta Gabriel White

26 Comments

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  1. NY_Gunner says:

    Should be named Captain…IJS

    1. fairfan says:

      I suggested that couple of months back when we were discussing Captains.
      Most on here put Tierney and Gabriel in front of him. I think appointing an English captain is long overdue .
      Thierry Henry. France
      William Gallas France
      Cesc Fabregas. Spain
      Robin van Persie. Netherlands
      Thomas Vermaelen. Belgium
      Mikel Arteta. Spain
      Per Mertesacker. Germany
      Laurent Koscielny. France
      Granit Xhaka. Switzerland
      Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Gabon

      1. PJ-SA says:

        What does nationality have to do with leadership qualities?

        The fact that he’s English should not come into the equation.

      2. NY_Gunner says:

        @fairfan
        I suggested it due to how he marshalls the squad, especially after his performance against Pool.
        He’s a true leader.

  2. Francis says:

    We need 2 -3 transfer windows like the past summer transfer window…..
    right now we don’t have quality back ups in all positions in the squad to compete on multiple fronts and to cope with injuries

  3. Davi says:

    Yes but would we have been better off spending at least some of that money on a midfielder?
    I wasn’t sure on White (just hadn’t seen much of him previously), and I’m not convinced he’s a great defender, but he’s definitely not bad, and he’s a big upgrade in terms of passing ability, but we’re so short in midfield, we don’t even have one CM who’s totally convincing.. That was my concern with the Ben White signing – priorities

    1. Dan kit says:

      Couldn’t agree more 👍
      Was 50 million overpriced? IMO absolutely but defenders seem to grow as they age and that is something on whites side ,I’m 50/50 on white as one game he looks solid then the next the opposite,the jury’s still out on him for me but it’s his first season so plenty of time for me to change my opinion on him .

    2. Aj says:

      Yes we should have saved some money.
      Even beter, we could have used it more effectiely by buying 10 players worth 15M each rather 5 players for 150M. Atleast we would have got more bodies in team… 1 more B2B & 1 def. midfielder, 1 right sided winger, 1 RB and 1 CF.
      I have been doing the same while playing FIFA 😉

      1. Davi says:

        Aren’t you a snarky one. Read a little more into my comment than was actually there, though.

        1. Aj says:

          No hard feeling mate. What’s life if we can’t have fun once in a while. More so when we all r from same Arsenal family

          1. Davi says:

            No hard feelings Aj

  4. NMC says:

    Building from the back makes sense, once you have a solid foundation you can build upon it. The defence will stay together for longest as you can play till a later age so getting them in until we can fund the rebuild of the rest of the squad, I saw squad as you sad we need back ups in so many positions to last the distance.

    We start a lot of plays from the back so a solid back line that can kick start attacks like Ben is very valuable.

    Xhaka, Partey, Elneny, Lokonga, Ødegaard is enough for those two/three positions but we can do with one more this window and an improvement on a couple.

    I don’t think with AFCON it is an excuse to leave the squad this thin at this stage. Ideally we would have brought in another mid but the world isn’t perfect.

  5. Durand says:

    Personally would have liked to see Saliba given a shot and that 50 million put towards a midfielder.

    White is showing qualities, but our midfield is still our weak point, and Partey needs a top partner still. Xhaka isn’t the answer.

    1. Reggie says:

      Agree and said it at the time.

      1. Reggie says:

        Plus today and this week has proved, the midfield needed at least on extra body, 50 mil would have been a massive boost to it.

  6. Reggie says:

    All of this is all prophesying about wether he and anyone else is worth until either someone comes in and buys him for 100 mil from us or he and others actually prove their worth by achieving something. Nothing yet has been achieved by them and until that happens all this hyping is futile. If they get top 4 this season then they and the manager can be praised for that and we can hope there is more to come because of. If they dont, What have they achieved? Our last manager finished 5th with ” worse players” so until we improve on that they are not worthy of over hyping them.

  7. RSH says:

    i criticized lots of the summer signings. happy i was right about White being a good purchase. Just seemed like a solid all around CB and English premium didnt bother me too much. Glad he’s coming good. Saliba is going to have to fight HARD to become a starter because Gabriel and White are hardly putting a foot wrong.

  8. RSH says:

    Also surprised by the ppl saying to spend the money elsewhere. you have to go all the way back to the 2000’s to find a fully competent Arsenal back 4, and Arteta just assembled one by getting White and Tomi. It’s nothing but a guessing game that Saliba would’ve been nearly as good. And the unfortunate truth is that Arteta wanted Xhaka to stay as a midfielder and was not looking for a replacement. All the funds spent during the summer was money well spent thus far.

    1. Durand says:

      True about Saliba being a guessing game, but it would have helped if Saliba was given opportunities to show if he was capable or not.

      Arteta even admitted he should have played Saliba in the early rounds of Europa last year when Nketiah and Balogun got chances.

      Hopefully Saliba returns and Arteta can rotate between the 3 CB’s keeping them sharp and healthy.

      1. Neil says:

        Better still how about 3 CB’s (White Saliba and Gabriel) and Tomi and Tierney/ Tavares bombing up the wings? Effectively is a back foir as the wing back / winger would hang back if the other side is bomning forward

        Then Partey can sit in front.of the back 3

        Also I think White could be a very good DM

  9. Jim wall says:

    Team next year……
    Ramsdale
    White. Saliba. Gabariel

    Tomi. Tierney

    New cm. Partey

    Saka. New cf. Martinelle

    1. Sean says:

      Not bad tbh. 3 5 2 formation.

      A Bissouma would be needed to slot in along side Thomas, maybe a Teilimans for this formation.

      New CF Vhalovic is on everyone’s radar and I don’t think he would come but one of the above and him would complete our team with Saliba return

    2. Neil says:

      So perhaps Odegaard can sit next to Partey

      Where does ESR fit in?

      1. Sean says:

        It gives us options for either 3-5-2 or 4-3-3 depending on opponents or in between games. Nice to have especially when you have sold or let go alot of players.

        Laca,Eddie,Auba,AMN,Elneny,Xhaka, Mari, Kola, Soares and possibly Leno & Pepe who will not want to sit on the bench for another season. Not even including Lucas, Matteo, Hector & Dino who all will bring in some sort of money to help our rebuild.

  10. Jim wall says:

    Well Sean if we get those 2 players for next season along with a few squad players mixed with youth players we will win the premiership…

    1. Sean says:

      Saka – Vhalovic – Gabi
      (Pepe, Balogun & SmithRwe)

      Partey Bissouma & Øde just ahead
      (Azeez, Lokonga & another CM)

      Tomi White Gabriel Teirney
      (Saliba, Taveres & Holding, NewRb)

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