A centre-back has long been on Arteta’s wishlist, with the club appearing to have settled on White as the right-sided solution.
The defender, currently in the England squad for Euro2020, made 36 appearances for Graham Potter’s Brighton as they finished in sixteenth place.
However, that was not down to their defence, which ranked 8th highest in the Premier League.
And now the normally reliable David Ornstein is suggesting that White has caught the eye of Mikel Arteta and his coaching staff.
🚨 Arsenal preparing move for Brighton defender Ben White. No club-to-club contact yet but expected in due course. Could take ~£40-50m — unlikely to be insurmountable for #AFC. Interest 1st reported by @johncrossmirror. W/ @gunnerblog @TheAthleticUK #BHAFC https://t.co/vYS2KG9rs5
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) June 11, 2021
Saliba’s future in doubt:
If Arsenal were to sign Ben White, it would mean that the club would have Rob Holding, White and the returning William Saliba to choose from for the right-centre back role, while Calum Chambers is also capable of playing there.
With no European football for Arsenal, there would likely not be enough game time for all three to be satisfied with their role at the club. Consequently, Saliba, the least experienced of the trio, could well find himself back out of the door, either on loan or on a permanent deal.
It would represent more terrible business for the Gunners if they were to lose the Frenchman, having signed him for £30 million in 2019 but still yet to grant him his competitive debut in red and white.
40-50m “unlikely to be insurmountable”
Although the player in question may not get Arsenal fans excited, what may be far more telling is the idea that 40-50 million pounds is considered “unlikely to be insurmountable”.
This, combined with the Athletic’s claim that “A lot of business is anticipated to and from the Emirates Stadium in the coming months”, suggests that Arsenal fans may need to hold onto their hats this transfer window.
Following years of economic austerity at the club, have the Kroenke’s finally realised that to compete at the top level, you have to spend?
This window will make their position clear.