Whilst further forward is surely where Arsenal’s transfer priorities will lie, they reportedly also will be looking to strengthen at the back.
One position would be a right sided centre back to partner with Gabriel next season. We had been linked with the likes of Kounde and Tapsoba from abroad, but The Athletic has revealed a concrete link to Brighton’s Ben White, 23.
However, any deal for the newly established England international will be costly, with the most reported fee being around £40 million. Plus, with his shock inclusion in the England squad for the Euros, any deal will likely have to wait until after the competition.
Some have criticised this link, and whilst I think we should try and get some other deals done first, this would be a great signing.
He is a composed defender who already has Premier League experience and has been toughened up in lower leagues. He reads the game really well and is comfortable in a back 2 or 3 and has even played as a DM before.
Some have criticised what this might mean for Saliba’s Arsenal future, but I don’t think the plan was ever to go into next season HAVING to rely on Saliba. Now we can have Gabriel and White as likely starters with Saliba getting plenty of game time as a rotation option so he settles into English football finally.
And whilst I do think other deals further up the pitch need to be prioritised, this improves our defence AND our build up play in one move. Compared to Holding, White is far more accomplished on the ball and in playing out from the back. Going into next season with Gabriel, Mari, Holding and Saliba is not sensible.
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