As one of the most highly rated defenders in English football, Ben White has many admirers. The England international, who just missed out on the UEFA Euro 2020 squad, is rated as one of the best young defenders in the country after a wonderful season at Brighton and Hove Albion. Building on an excellent loan spell at Leeds United, White is now rated as one of the highest transfers of the summer to come.
The team most likely to make the move happen, though, is a surprise. Given Arsenal finished outside of the European spots and have made constant remarks to a lack of finance, the quoted fee of £50m feels like a surprise. However, it is believed the player would be keen to make the move to The Emirates, becoming a key part of an Arsenal team that is about to go through a transformative change.
The defender has quickly become well-noted for his impressive physical qualities, but also his solid and consistent technique. Becoming a highly-rated English centre-half often comes with extra pressure, but White has taken the pressure in his stride. As such, a series of cool and composed performances for a Brighton side punching above its weight even being in the top-flight was a hugely impressive indicator of his quality.
Arsenal look keen to make the move a reality as soon as possible, making White their primary target for the summer. With the need to reinforce midfield, too, though, it will be interesting to see who leaves Arsenal to try and make funds available for some extra signings in the near future.
Is Ben White the right choice for Arsenal?
On the face of it, this looks like a masterstroke by the Gunners. White is a highly rated prospect, with fans in Manchester and in Liverpool as well as with Chelsea and former club Leeds. Brighton would have likely struggled to keep hold of the star for much longer, and the opportunity to cash-in and fund summer signings might have been too good to turn down.
From an Arsenal perspective, the North London club have picked up a player who can become a symbol of the Mikel Arteta era. As one of his several record-breaking deals, though, it will be upon the Spaniard to ensure that White delivers and that Arsenal can return to European competition next year.
As one of the biggest seasons in the clubs recent history, this feels like a make-or-break season. While talent such as Kieran Tierney are likely to stick around for the medium-term, Arsenal need to show academy graduates like Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe that sticking around is going to be worth their time and effort.
Without doubt, this is a major summer for Arsenal. While a move for White represents an excellent start, buying a player whom they can build the backline around, there is much work to still be done. This is a beginning, but more will be needed to ensure that White is not a signing in vain.