by .

David Ornstein showered FIRE on the internet when he announced that we’d be targeting Ben White this summer in a £40-50m move.

Let’s start with the player. My uncle is a huge Leeds fan and said the guy is absolute class and he was gutted they couldn’t nab him to stay in the league. That’s all that is needed here, my uncle has the last say.

Outside that, what do we have? A capped England player. Not only a ballplayer, but someone that can dribble like a midfielder. He is fast. He’s 6ft 1, which isn’t the tallest, but next to Gabriel or Mari, you’re in good shape. The most important thing he has? He’s Premier League proven and he’s had a league winning run in the Championship. He’s physical enough to land in a Bielsa team, he’s solid enough to have landed promotion in team that leaves centre backs wide open on the counter. He’s been coached in a positional play system under Potter.

You simply cannot knock the profile of the player and to be honest, I am absolutely shocked the comp merchants propping lesser players are complaining about this sort of move. 23 years old, keeping Brighton in the league, landing England call-ups over other players in the Brighton backline that are English.

Part of the anger is people think this means the end of Saliba. I’m not sure why, because Saliba does the same things as White, except he hasn’t played a single minute in any English competition. If you think Mikel Arteta is going to roll career dice on a player that’s had half a season at Nice, you are totally nuts. That would be a move crazier than dropping ESR as a false 9 in an away leg of the Europa League. You don’t make the 3rd best defence in the league better with Saliba. You can’t complain that Arteta makes too many rookie mistakes, then encourage him to put a 20-year-old centre-back in the starting 11 from the start of the season, despite ZERO top clubs doing that. Also, don’t give me Fofana, Leicester finished 5 points ahead of us and conceded 50 goals last season. Saliba deserves to fight for his place, but he doesn’t deserve to start because Don Raul massively overpaid for him like he did with Pepe.

What you have is someone more proven in White as a tried and true starter, then you have someone coming up behind him with a massively high ceiling. That’s an exciting grouping of centre-backs.

People are also spitting feathers about priorities like transfers are only viable if they are done in order of importance.

Don’t be so fucking ridiculous.

If Arsenal have the funds for a £40m center-back, that gives credence to the story I had about KSE putting up funds this summer. This ‘might’ be the big one we’ve been begging for.

I also wouldn’t write off player exchanges being part of that deal. Brighton might have an interest in a few of our players, I’m thinking about Reiss Nelson, Eddie, and AMN. We could lower the fee by sending young English players who might fancy the top class coaching of Graham Potter.

The story, even if it’s untrue, also gives us power in the market, because it shows we’re not desperate for cash to move on our own ambitions forward. Part of Liverpool and Chelsea’s strength when selling is that they don’t need to sell. Last summer, we needed cash, so clubs lowballed us.

I also think people are extremely scarred by transfer windows of yesteryear. Signing a center-back doesn’t mean we won’t sell any. Arteta has said about 50 times we had too many players in that role. If anything, Ben White is a ruthless indictment on the players we currently have at the club. 3rd best defence in the league but no standout centre-backs? Someone is going to pay the price for that and I wouldn’t really be fussed who it was.

Also note this… signing a new deal isn’t always a celebration of faith. It can be about protecting an asset so we can sell it at some point. A lot of the players, since Huss Fahmy, have optional years Arsenal can add so we can land fees. If Arteta managed anything last season, it was making a lot of our players more appealing than they were before. The fact Xhaka is moving at basically 29 to a fairly big Italian club shows that there’s a market for our talent this summer.

If Arsenal can raise £100m, which we’re almost 30% of the way there now, then there’s a chance our summer could be a £200m one. Arsenal paid back the Government loan and took out another £120m via Barclays. In a world of cheap capital, why not invest in the dip?

Joe Willock – £20m

Hector – £30m

Reiss – £10m

Leno – £25m

Xhaka – £18m

Matteo – £8m

AMN – £20m

Mavropanos – £15m

Cal Chambers – £20m

There are deals to be made this summer and clubs are going to deal with us.

So in short, don’t shit your pants that we’re adding quality to our defence that we need. Our system doesn’t work without a ballplayer center-back and Saliba would be a huge risk to start there. What happened to Liverpool when they lost quality in defence? They dropped 30 points. What happened to City when they added Reuben Dias? He was one of their best players and they smashed the league. Uncomfortable defenders blow our system. A centre-back and right back that can invert move our attack forward.

There will be new midfielders, no doubt. Xhaka needs replacing. Ceballos needs replacing.

Don’t fret about the summer because the order makes no sense. Don’t fret about fees because there’s a complete plan about all the positions. Just worry about quality.

Right, on that note, I’ll see you in the comments. x



Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Leftside

    Fabregas was speaking yesterday and he mentioned
    young coaches wanting to predetermine every move ahead of matches. Made me think he could have in part been referring to Arteta’s lethargic, controlled, robotic football that none of the players seem to enjoy.

  2. WengerEagle

    Trippier at LB, a negative double pivot of Phillips-Rice and Sterling starts. No Sancho or Grealish.

    Did call it on here last week, Southgate is such a drip.

  3. GoonGoonerGone

    ‘United won’t want to strengthen a potential rival’

    Good Lord. Are you having a laugh?
    Since when is Arsenal a potential rival to Utd?
    Last two seasons eighth and eighth under the great Arteta.
    We are potential rivals to Leeds and those clubs below the top ten.
    Wake up and smell the Kroenkes, folks!

  4. Pierre

    ” a negative double pivot of Phillips-Rice ”

    You do know that you’ll have ishola after you to explain what a double pivot is , as he is the self professed expert of the deep lying midfielder/double or single pivot or whatever they call them nowadays.

    I’m with you regarding team selection…very negative , though I knew grealish wouldn’t start .
    Personally I would have liked to have seen grealish and sancho in from the start with no sterling or Phillips..

  5. WengerEagle


    I’m not saying as of now we’re rivals with United but a lot can change quickly in football, my point was more why would they aid in our recovery by giving us a very good player like Van De Beek?

    Just because he doesn’t start ahead of Bruno Fernandes and Pogba, two of the league’s best isn’t a poor reflection on him as a new player.

    They usually only give us shite like Silvestre and Welbeck.

  6. Pierre

    I would say that trippier is in there for his dead ball accuracy more than his ability to overlap, though he is very good defensively.

  7. WengerEagle


    Mental not to start Grealish in particular. Mount and Rice are more than capable in midfield, Mount was part of a CM that ran rings around Real and Modric in the CL SF.

    Just screams inferiority complex on England’s part, don’t back themselves to outplay the Croat midfield. Predictable and disappointing, even as a neutral.

  8. Dissenter

    Aren’t there 5 substitutes allowed in this game
    Why all the fuss about the line up?
    We are talking about a manager with too many good choices.

    I wish he started Grealish so Modric can teach him the lesson of his life.

  9. WengerEagle

    I love Trippier but agree that he is in there to mainly defend. Much more conservative approach than having an overlapping Shaw or Chilwell.

    Croatia are very good but they’re not France.

    England easily the better team but they’re lining out like underdogs.

  10. Graham

    I had tickets for this March for the last 18 months or so only to lose them in the recent reallocation after the capacity was reduced. Anyone else going to any of the matches? I still have tickets for the Czech game.

  11. China1

    Fodens blonde hair looks like it’s been drawn onto his head. Looks like a low quality PlayStation 2 model 😂😂

  12. WengerEagle

    Wow, Sancho not even on the bench. That is astonishingly inept.

    Gives a whole new meaning to PL premium. 3 world class seasons at Dortmund aren’t enough to even get him a place in the 23 man squad.

    Proves that nobody pays much attention to overseas leagues, not doing much to encourage English players to move ahroad.

  13. China1

    Cmon guys it’s England. We have made our name as a country for churning out quality attacking players but playing with the hand break on.

    We always seem to be more worried about not losing and hoping out elite attackers will find a goal or two to get us through each game. Been that way since I was a kid

  14. GoonerDave

    I’m not convinced by any of the players we are linked to. Neves plus Ode is really equivalent to one top player. I think we should be trimming the squad and only adding top quality or top potential at least.
    I hope I’m wrong, but we seem to be interested in expensive squad players.

  15. Dissenter

    I saw Modric play in Croatia’s last friendly
    He’s 35 years old and still nutmeging people for fun

    There are 5 substitutes allowed and will be an advantage for teams with depth like England.

  16. WengerEagle

    Agree TR7.

    For me it’s Zidane, Iniesta and Xavi as the 3 best CM I have seen and then you have in the next tier the likes of Modric, Kroos, Alonso, Pirlo, etc.

  17. Champagne Charlie

    Hahahahaha no Grealish.

    Says it all for me about Southgate. Most important player in the side, ahead of Kane for me.

  18. Dissenter

    I was waiting for Wenger Eagle to bemoan Sancho’s absence

    Didn’t have to wait for long, when I saw the line up I thought WE is going to be furious, he didn’t let me down.

  19. Champagne Charlie


    Sancho has no stock in England mate, been following the general chit chat and he’s way down the pecking order. Now I don’t watch much Bundesliga, but it comes across incredibly dense imo.

  20. andy1886

    Tripier is a RB playing LB. How would you feel about that if you were an English LB? Not a single English LB good enough to start for his team?

  21. Elmo

    Looks like Southgate’s main concern is trying to hold on and stop Croatia dominating the game.

    So weak.

    The FA have to prioritise getting Wenger in for this young, creative group.

  22. Dissenter

    Southgate has an impossible tasks in my opinion

    This England team is stacked. He has to find a way to ease the team into the competition , no need starting hot and fading out.

  23. MidwestGun

    Hey y’all….. Good morning, afternoon…. whatever.. Up early to check out the game. For myself, I always put Modric in the class of a David Silva, basically.. not in the company of Xavi or Ineista.. but still a great player.

    Hope England get off to a great start… First goal will be big.

  24. China1

    With the amount of attacking talent in England right now southgate should be trying to set them loose not shackle them up and avoid a defeat

  25. Marc


    Having a squad filled with good players is not an impossible task – win the game and play some half decent football and any criticism is irrelevant.

  26. WengerEagle


    Watch the media cream over him by Christmas when he’s killing it in the PL with United.

    A shame really, same goes for Bellingham who has barely got a mention and even to a lesser extent Trippier who was firnly behind Walker and TAA in the casual fans eyes.

  27. Dissenter

    I disagree
    Growing into the competition is the most important for me.
    England can falter today and move onto still win the competition because of the sheer depth.

  28. S Asoa

    AFC ye olde English is like a hound in that sport , the agents have been consistently setting on players they own to hike their price. Arsenal would need about950 million to buy all the players we are linked to, so understand the absurdity of it all.

  29. andy1886

    Not a fan of Walker. Or Stones for that matter. In a team where they had to defend more I suspect that they would be shown up.

    If England don’t win it’s on Southgate with this selection.

  30. Marc


    I’m not suggesting you win the tournament in the first match but these are all highly paid professionals – do your job and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

  31. Champagne Charlie


    Unsurprising to me. Biggest issue is bottle on the main stage, International football is slower at the best of times but England have a history of playing like fannies.

    All the more reason a guy like Grealish is the special sauce, he’s such a confident and expressive baller which can make a massive difference to the rest of the team.

  32. MidwestGun

    Yep.. I guess I just assumed they would have accidently got an easy draw first round and won at least one at some point.

    Oh man… Foden… so close.

  33. Elmo


    It used to be much more difficult just to qualify for the Euros. Used to be only 8 teams (expanded to 16 at Euro 96; now 24 teams).

  34. Marc

    How is Pickford still No 1?

    He really is a terrible keeper and you just know will make a major gaff at some point in the tournament. He’s the Xhaka of keepers!

  35. La croqueta

    Berd leno priced at 18M. Just like i thought. We don’t have 1 single player worth over 20M who is over 25 years old. Every player over 20M is worth 15M and down.. anything over 15M is a bonus.

    We’ll see.

  36. Elmo

    Seen this template of a game before in England v Croatia. Starting to look tired in 30C heat after a fast start, and Croatia’s midfield begin to take over, leading to total control in 2nd half.

    Advantage for England here compared to previous tournaments, loads of talent on the bench, so no quality decline when you need fresh legs to replace those with heatstroke.

  37. TheBayingMob

    “ You sure England didn’t win their first game in Euro ’88?”

    You’re probably trolling but England lost their opening game of E88 to Ireland 0-1. They lost their other games 3-1 to both the Netherlands and Russia; memory might be failing me but was that the Netherland’s game the one where Van Baston made Tony Adam’s look like a total donkey? Which is why he never lived those donkey chants and comments down? We’ve had so many embarrassing showings at the Euro’s it’s hard to separate one bad memory form another

  38. TheBayingMob

    I saw a stat recently that Arsenal have not made a profit on any player transaction (where they transferred the player in I.e. excluding home grown players) since 2011, is that right?

  39. Dissenter

    It amazes me hoe many current or former Spurs players are playing at the Euros

    Just goes to show how poor our transfers have been in the last decade.

  40. TR7

    Sterling is good at running with the ball but the moment he has to take a pause and make a weighted pass he more often than not falters.

  41. Goonah


    Southgate always gives more weightage to players playing for the big 6 in England.

    Playing RB Trippier over CL winner Chilwell debunks that somewhat.

    Phillips over Graelish is the biggest mistake imo

  42. Champagne Charlie

    37th minute and right on cue you have commentators saying how Harry Kane hasn’t had a kick.

    Most important player my arse.

  43. Almuniasaynomore

    The baying mob
    I was messing alright,set mid up lovely and he didnt take the shot! 88 came very close to costing Bobby Robson his job. Credit to the man what he achieved 2 years later. That Dutch team in 88 would be very hard to surpass in terms of the greatest European teams ever.

  44. Marko

    It amazes me hoe many current or former Spurs players are playing at the EurosJust goes to show how poor our transfers have been in the last decade.

    The correlation between the two is quite something

  45. MidwestGun

    88 I was … still playing Football.. in University.. Not sure I even watched the Euro’s that year. Regardless my memory of that year is fuzzy. 😀

  46. MidwestGun

    Luteo… haha was sort of thinking the same thing… the first 20 mins was promising.. Foden’s shot… was an inch from scoring.. but after that … pretty drab affair.

  47. CG

    DCL to come on and score

    Southgate and Arteta, x 2 smart arse coaches- complicating the game, trying to be too clever.

    treble half time sub needed.


  48. Luteo Guenreira

    Is Sancho injured? Why not even on the bench? Has he breached one of Southgate’s non-negotiables?

  49. China1

    This game aptly sums up why I’ve been very much against signing sterling in any capacity, especially if he’s cost a lot

    At city he looks top class whereas at the last euros and again today he looks closer to Danny welbeck. Good running but a bit gormless with limited end product

    If we bought him can anyone confidently say we’d be getting the city rendition rather than the welbeck rendition?

    I’d like to see any combination of saka sancho and grealish come on early in the second half.

  50. Champagne Charlie

    England form (international form in general) is never the barometer for club form.

    I’ve watched countless brilliant players be a shadow of themselves for their country. You play and train at club level daily for years with the same group, you get foisted together for a 3 week shin dig at International level.

    ……….and Sterling scores…..

  51. PhD2020

    “I wish he started Grealish so Modric can teach him the lesson of his life.”



    Found this comment funny..

  52. China1

    Lol Sterling doing a peak welbeck impression but he let the impression slip a moment by scoring his goal. Welbeck definitely hits the corner flag from there