Arsenal have announced the completion of their $70-million transfer to bring Brighton defender Ben White to the Emirates Stadium.
The arrival of White, 23, fills a longstanding hole at Arsenal: a young, Premier League-experienced center back around which manager Mikel Arteta (or other managers prior to him) can build a solid defensive foundation. Signing that caliber of player was a top priority for Arsenal this summer, as Arteta confirmed on Friday.
Arteta also called White “an intelligent defender” “educated [at] two very good clubs.” Considering he cost Arsenal $70 million and he’s already been handed the no. 4 shirt at his new club, it’s probably safe to scribble White’s name down in pen for the Gunners’ season opener against Brentford on Friday, Aug. 13 — quotes from Arsenal’s official website:
“Ben was a top target for us and it’s great that we’ve completed his signing. Ben has been educated with two very good clubs, Brighton and Leeds, in recent seasons. He has benefitted well from two very good coaching set-ups and has shown with both Brighton and on loan with Leeds what a strong talent he is.
“Ben is an intelligent defender who is very comfortable with the ball at his feet and his style fits perfectly with us. And of course, he is still young, so his age and profile fits with what we are building here. We are all looking forward to Ben being central to our future long-term plans.”
Only time will reveal just how much White can not only improve the Arsenal defense to play in a way which doesn’t doesn’t hinder — but actually helps — the attack, but also turn a new page with a younger group for the long-term future, or if another starter (or two) is required down the line.
The transfer fee is steep, now, but White has the feel of someone who could stick around north London for a decade at which point this deal will turn out to be an incredible bargain.