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Arsenal interested in Ben White
Arsenal are on a lookout for a number of players this summer in some key positions that Mikel Arteta feels are in desperate need of an upgrade.
Position such a central midfield, attacking midfield, right back, back-up left-back and goalkeeper are all in the frame.
However, Arsenal have been linked with a move for Brighton’s Ben White yesterday evening.
The Athletic’s David Ornstein reported the news that the Gunners were looking at White with a fee in the region of £40-£50m suggested to be what the south coast club would be looking for.
🚨 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
This isn’t a surprise as Arsenal have seen links with both Jules Koundé and Edmond Tapsoba. Both players would also likely cost a serious fee showing Arsenal are seemingly in the market to spend big on the position.
🚨Odegaard remains No 1 target
🚨Saliba to be assessed on return to training
🚨CM targets from PL
🚨Tapsoba more realistic than Kounde
🚨2 new FBs wanted. Doig unlikely.
🚨HG GK a priority
— gunnerblog (@gunnerblog) June 7, 2021
What does this mean for Saliba?
With the possibility of a starting centre-half arriving at the club it has thrown into question what this means for the future of William Saliba.
Saliba is yet to play for the first team despite being signed in 2019 under former coach Unai Emery.
Saliba returned to Saint-Etienne on a free transfer where his season was affected by injuries and the curtailing of the Ligue 1 campaign due to the pandemic.
He returned having not fulfilled what the club had expected due to these factors and Mikel Arteta felt he wasn’t ready for first team action.
After playing for some time with the under-23s he joined Nice on loan for 6 months where he has stood out.
Returning, David Luiz’s departure seemingly opened the door to the Frenchman to come in and earn minutes. Reports have suggested the idea had been for Saliba to return and fight for a place in the team also.
Understand that, as things stand, William Saliba will be part of the Arsenal set-up during pre-season and the start of the 2021/22 campaign.
Plans are to involve the defender in all first-team affairs when he returns from Nice. #AFC
— Mark Mann-Bryans (@MarkyMBryans) May 10, 2021
However, the move for White has seen a reaction from sections of the Arsenal fan base confused at what this means.
The move for White should not be a problem for the club. Arsenal want to once again reach the top 4 and qualify for the Champions league. The teams who reached that accolade last season all have something in common. A considerable depth of strong defenders.
Liverpool suffered a catastrophic injury crisis with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all suffering long term injuries. This summer they have signed Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig who comes in alongside the aforementioned trio.
Manchester City signed Nathan Ake at the start of the 2020 summer window to add to John Stones and Aymeric Laporte. Yet this did not stop them also adding Ruben Dias who went onto star for the side last season.
Chelsea have the likes of Thiago Silva, Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christiansen and Antonio Rudiger. Man United have Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelöf, Axel Tuanzebe and Eric Bailly.
Arsenal’s centre-backs may be high in number but questionable quality, especially in comparison to their rivals, is evident. An opportunity to be ruthless and sign a quality defender like White is crucial to sending the club in the right direction.
Furthermore, it does not rule out the possibility of Arsenal still spending in the more obvious areas.
White’s price may be a concern but it is the going rate for young, quality, English centre-halves and it may just be what Arsenal need. Only time will tell if a deal can be done and what other business the Gunners may have in store.
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Premier League table
|1||Manchester City FC||38||51||86|
|2||Manchester United FC||38||29||74|
|5||Leicester City FC||38||18||66|
|6||West Ham United FC||38||15||65|
|7||Tottenham Hotspur FC||38||23||62|
|11||Aston Villa FC||38||9||55|
|12||Newcastle United FC||38||-16||45|
|13||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||38||-16||45|
|14||Crystal Palace FC||38||-25||44|
|16||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||38||-6||41|
|19||West Bromwich Albion||38||-41||26|
|20||Sheffield United FC||38||-43||23|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||23|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||22|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||17|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur FC||17|
|Bamford, Patrick||Leeds United||17|
|Calvert-Lewin, Dominic||Everton FC||16|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City FC||15|
|Watkins, Ollie||Aston Villa FC||14|
|Gundogan, Ilkay||Manchester City FC||13|
|Lacazette, Alexandre||Arsenal FC||13|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle United FC||12|
|Ings, Danny||Southampton FC||12|
|Wood, Chris||Burnley FC||12|
|Iheanacho, Kelechi||Leicester City FC||12|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United FC||11|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||11|
|Pereira, Matheus||West Bromwich Albion||11|
|Bale, Gareth||Tottenham Hotspur FC||11|
|Zaha, Wilfried||Crystal Palace FC||11|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City FC||10|
|Player||Team||Red Cards||Yellow Cards|
|McGinn, John||Aston Villa FC||0||12|
|Gallagher, Conor||West Bromwich Albion||0||11|
|Maguire, Harry||Manchester United FC||0||11|
|Phillips, Kalvin||Leeds United||0||10|
|Hojbjerg, Pierre||Tottenham Hotspur FC||0||9|
|Milivojevic, Luka||Crystal Palace FC||1||8|
|Lundstram, John||Sheffield United FC||1||8|
|Luiz, Douglas||Aston Villa FC||0||8|
|Holgate, Mason||Everton FC||0||9|
|Bissouma, Yves||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||1||8|
|Soucek, Tomas||West Ham United FC||1||7|
|Shaw, Luke||Manchester United FC||0||8|
|Xhaka, Granit||Arsenal FC||1||7|
|Bellerin, Hector||Arsenal FC||0||8|
|Andersen, Joachim||Fulham FC||1||7|
|Egan, John||Sheffield United FC||1||7|
|Hayden, Isaac||Newcastle United FC||0||8|
|Dallas, Stuart||Leeds United||0||7|
|McGoldrick, David||Sheffield United FC||0||7|
|Reid, Bobby||Fulham FC||0||7|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||14|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||12|
|De Bruyne, Kevin||Manchester City FC||11|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur FC||10|
|Grealish, Jack||Aston Villa FC||10|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United FC||9|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City FC||8|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||8|
|Harrison, Jack||Leeds United||8|
|Werner, Timo||Chelsea FC||8|
|Gross, Pascal||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||8|
|Cresswell, Aaron||West Ham United FC||8|
|Pereira, Matheus||West Bromwich Albion||7|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City FC||7|
|Firmino, Roberto||Liverpool FC||7|
|Ward-Prowse, James||Southampton FC||7|
|Eze, Eberechi||Crystal Palace FC||7|
|Alexander-Arnold, Trent||Liverpool FC||7|
|Robertson, Andrew||Liverpool FC||7|