Arsenal are interested in signing Brighton defender Ben White this summer, as reported by The Daily Mail.
The 23-year-old has just finished his first season in the Premier League, where he played 36 matches for Graham Potter’s side. White’s performances have caught the eye of the some of the top clubs in the country, with Manchester United and Liverpool reportedly monitoring the young centre-back.
Arsenal are also believed to be keen on White, who made his England debut earlier this month, and has since been brought into Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad for this summer’s Euros following Trent Alexander-Arnold’s withdrawal due to injury.
With the nation still sweating over the fitness of Manchester United’s Harry Maguire, White could yet have a major role to play during the tournament over the next few weeks.
It is understood that Brighton do not want to let White go, and have slapped a £50m price-tag on his head in a bid to fend off interest from potential suitors. If this valuation is matched then the South Coast club may have to cash in on the promising youngster, though.
So, would spending £50m on White be a good move from Arsenal?
GIVEMESPORT’s Sam Brookes, Jack Saville, Joshua Cole and Jonathan Gorrie give their thoughts below…
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“Arsenal’s back line may no longer contain the glamourous names that it once did such as Tony Adams and Sol Campbell, but it actually did a decent job this year when looking at statistics.
“In 2020/21, only Manchester City and Chelsea conceded fewer goals than Mikel Arteta’s men in the top-flight. That may surprise some people, but it does indicate that the Gunners’ defence is not actually their main concern right now.
“Meanwhile, Arsenal were only the joint-ninth highest scorers in the Premier League this season, which is clearly an issue that Arteta needs to address.
“Therefore, while there can be no doubting White’s potential, Arsenal should not be splashing out £50m on a position that is not a priority at the moment. Instead they should put this money to better use by spending it on attacking, creative players who can score the goals to help the side climb the table in 2021/22.”
“Ben White has all the makings of a future leader at Arsenal and would be a brilliant investment from Edu. The form he showcased at Leeds United in the Championship underlined his status as one of the best up-and-coming centre-backs in English football, and his ascent continued during a stark 2020/21 season following his return to Brighton.
“White is a smooth operator in possession of the ball and is blessed with a full repertoire of defensive and physical attributes to compete at the top level. Given his scope for development at 23 years old, he is a must-buy for Arsenal.”
“One of English football’s most promising young talents, Ben White was rewarded for his encouraging displays in recent years for Leeds United and Brighton by earning a call up for the Euros earlier this month.
“However, despite his undoubted ability, it could be argued that it may be too soon for him to join a club like Arsenal who need a major rebuild following an underwhelming 2020/21 campaign.
“For the Gunners to reach new heights and potentially challenge for a place in the Champions League in the future, they will need to spend wisely this summer.
“Taking this into consideration, a £50m bid for a player who only averaged a WhoScored match rating of 6.60 this season in the Premier League would be a major error as they could instead use this money to draft in a truly world-class centre-back.”
“What a statement this would be.
“With Mikel Arteta insisting his team play out from the back, moving for a talented young England international in the top 60 percentile of centre-backs to play progressive passes, as well as carry the ball forward (via FBREF), across Europe’s major leagues would be massive.
“Having lost out on Emi Buendia to Aston Villa, it’s getting tempting to think Arsenal are no longer an attractive place to go.
“If they can lure White – a man with so much of his career ahead of him – things could change for the better.”