BEN WHITE IS A GUNNER!

by .

Image via @Arsenal

Arsenal made Ben White their third signing of the summer in a deal worth £50m. It’s a monster transfer fee and a massive bet from Edu and Arteta. The player will pick up the #4, a legendary number at the club, and hope to take us back to past glories.

So what is all the fuss about with Ben?

Whether you like it or not, for an Arteta system to thrive, we need a ball playing centre back. It’s not a secondary consideration. David Luiz was the player that best reflected the profile of defender we need, the coaching staff believed him to be our best defender, and it’s hard to disagree when you look out how our attacking play was dented with him out of the team.

Remember the mission for the summer? Reduce errors in the system by half, become 20% more clinical down the other end of the pitch.

The gamble on Ben White is that he has the core skills David Luiz has. He’s supremely confident on the ball, so passing out of the back will be more comfortable. He also has the ability to drive passes through the lines, a part of our game that really struggles when Rob Holding steps in. His most impressive attribute is how he literally carries the ball up the pitch like a midfielder.

The biggest difference between him and David Luiz? About 11 years. Those 11 years are the difference between slow and fast which is reflected in red cards and sloppy penalties. If you want to reduce errors in the system, signing a ball playing centre back that can run is a good start. 11 years is also the difference between, ‘I’ve been there, done it and I can’t be arsed’… and ‘I have it all to prove, and I will go to war for this club.’ David Luiz was a bit above Arsenal. He’d won it all, played for the greatest managers, and just didn’t fancy it in certain games. Remember the West Ham game last season? He didn’t show up. Remember the City game when he was benched? Luiz is an immense person to have on your team in big games, but if things aren’t perfect for him, he can be a disaster. You always knew which player had showed up after 12 minutes. We deserve a player that will always show up.

Ben White needs to solve for the above.

I like the idea on paper. It’s a pricey one, but if you want Arsenal to get back to the top, these are the sort of deals you need to do. United signed Harry McGuire and everyone laughed at them, it’s not so funny now, is it? Big clubs invest in big positions. The major question is whether this guy can make the jump, but I like his character. Binned by Southampton, sent out on loan to Peterborough, Newport, then Leeds where he played nearly every game on their way to the title. Then a big season at Brighton where he landed a call-up. He’s starred for two highly technical managers with very different systems. That shows his intelligence and ability to adapt. It hasn’t been a straight shot to the top, nor has it been guaranteed… but for me, if you’ve slummed it, when something big comes along, you grab it.

Mike Arteta is very excited about the move.

“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.

This transfer has to work for the manager. It’s a huge move and it makes the team he has now very much his own. Now it’s time to deliver. We need to see speed through the team, we want to see more variety in our play, and we want all that with the same level of defensive security we’ve had for the last 18 months.

There’s some other news doing the rounds regarding Xhaka. Amy Lawrence suggesting Roma are messing around and we’re going to offer him a new deal to protect value.

Sorry, what?

Protect the value of a player no one wants to buy for another 5 years? If he doesn’t leave, it’ll be a really dark moment in our summer. He’s a good player, but his limitations can’t continue to be propped up by special strategies. We need to move him on and bring in someone like Bruno Guimarães. I also struggle to see Xhaka wanting to stay, surely he’s done with Arsenal? Hopefully, this is just the standard negotiations tactic from Arsenal.

Finally, St. Louis is suing Stan K for £700m. Daniel Ek thinks that might result in Kroenke selling. I have my doubts.

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445 Responses to “BEN WHITE IS A GUNNER!”

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  1. azed

    Leicester’s defence was objectively worse, and I think it’s dishonest for anyone to try and subvert from the fact Fofana was a contributor to that poorer record.

    CC

    This is embarassing. Liverpool had a worse defence last season, Thiago must have had something to do with it.

  2. Champagne Charlie

    “Objectively worse based on what exactly? “

    Based on the previous seasons 41 goals in 38 games (1.08 gpg) compared to 50 in 38 (1.32 gpg).

    “How did he cost Leicester in the short-term?“

    The same way Saka and ESR cost us in the short term. By being raw despite the obvious talent. Or have you suddenly changed perspective on Saka and ESR being enough to take us to the promise land?

    “Yeah exactly, it is difficult to argue re ESR because it is backed by factual evidence i.e wins and points on the board. So it’s strange that you apply a double standard by omitting this in Luiz’s case.“

    I’m not talking about points and goals, I’m taking about game data within the 90 minutes. The performance data that improved with their introduction thats separate to the results data.

  3. Marko

    Hey Jules Kounde is fantastic he’s been doing great the last few enough that serious clubs are interested in signing him. None of this one good season with Leeds and one top flight season experience bollocks

  4. Champagne Charlie

    Azed

    Your repeated ignorant remarks are all that’s embarrassing, you talked nonsense back in the midst of the debate and you still don’t even grasp what’s being said. Just skip it, I don’t really have the patience for another round of silly bollocks with someone that doesn’t entertain the basics of the argument.

  5. Champagne Charlie

    “Ben White had been Arsenal’s priority signing since Sevilla’s Jules Kounde had made it clear he would not be interested in a move to the club due to their lack of Champions League football. – TheAthleticUK “

    Just leave this here, some fans would complain if Neymar made a move and we never entertained him.

  6. Mr Serge

    Height shmeight give the player a chance guys

    It’s the midfield I am worried about we need reinforcement not xhaka back

  7. Marko

    So you’re saying that we’re not an attractive options for ambitious players and to convince some we have to overpay for them…I wholeheartedly agree

  8. Marko

    And with that in mind kinda makes no sense to try to sign Locatelli or enquiry about Lautaro Martinez cause why would they join us

  9. Mr Serge

    Marko I can see why Martinez won’t join us but I don’t think locatelli is out of reach sasulo is a tiny club and he already left a big club to get game time

  10. WengerEagle

    Charlie

    Hold on, why are you still bringing up that 50 goal metric? He literally had nothing to do with 10 of those games, 11 really seeing as how they collapsed defensively after he was taken off vs Spurs. They conceded 1.18 goals a game with him so even compared to last season which isn’t a fair comparison given a host of other factors at play, the difference is absolutely miniscule.

    And no, I’m not changing my stance that Saka and ESR can’t be our leading men to lead us to the where we want to be but I certainly wouldn’t go as far to say that they have negatively impacted us, would you? They were among iur best performers, just as Fofana was for Leicester.

  11. azed

    CC

    You are the ignorant one. Liverpool defence was shit last year because of injuries, same as Leicester City.

    You and Pedro have this idea that Fofana being in the Leicester city somehow made it worse is twisting facts to make a point.

    Have you considered the injuries, the change of formation, rule changes, var that could have affected the results?

    The data says Leicester city’s defence was better with him than without him, but you need to defend that idea that teenage defenders are bad so you give total goals even though Fofana didn’t play every game.

  12. azed

    Hold on, why are you still bringing up that 50 goal metric? He literally had nothing to do with 10 of those games

    WE

    Agendas must agend so we must blame FF for the goals conceded even though he didn’t play.

  13. Gbat

    What some don’t seem to get is that defenders are required to do so much more than defend nowadays. Defenders need to keep possession, start attacks from deep and progress the ball upfield.

    Also being strong aerially is no longer as important as it once was. Players are heading the ball less than ever

  14. WengerEagle

    ”Also being strong aerially is no longer as important as it once was. Players are heading the ball less than ever”

    Anything to back this other than being a wild theory of yours?

  15. Marko

    FYI Soyuncu only started half their premier league games last season and Evans, Pereira and Ndidi missed quite a few games and they’re important defensive players for them and I’m sure that had no contribution to their defensive record…

  16. Pierre

    Pedro
    “Left, you’ve gotta pick it up, if you are just here to troll, then go to reddit. It’s boring.”

    The le grove trolling award in recent weeks has to go to Charlie.

    Surely he can’t believe the shit he’s writing like
    “The same way Saka and ESR cost us in the short term.”

    And
    “Saka needs to improve his final ball”

  17. Pedro

    Pierre, great young kids, but the output needs to double for them to be seen as elite. Not sure how you can look at our creative output and not understand it’s below where we need to be. ESR doesn’t stop talking about what he’s been asked to do.

  18. Mr Serge

    Same people on here seem to be always unhappy with the club
    What will it take to make you guys happy ?

    You know who you are

  19. Champagne Charlie

    “Hold on, why are you still bringing up that 50 goal metric?“

    Because when referencing Leicester’s defence over two season you use the entirety of the games played. Pretty obvious. I said Leicester objectively had a worse defence than the previous season, is that false? No.

    “They conceded 1.18 goals a game with him so even compared to last season which isn’t a fair comparison given a host of other factors at play, the difference is absolutely miniscule.“

    Season before last was 41 goals, at 1.18 gpg you’re conceding 45 goals for 38 games. Since when is 4 goals “absolutely minuscule”?

    “And no, I’m not changing my stance that Saka and ESR can’t be our leading men to lead us to the where we want to be but I certainly wouldn’t go as far to say that they have negatively impacted us, would you?”

    Relative to players of an expected level in their positions they absolutely did, and that’s the point. Leicester paid 35 mil for Fofana, you think they couldn’t have got a player who was better than he is today? They could, but they chose a talented young player for the obvious upside. Same as we did with Saliba.

    Are you saying that ESR and Saka were excellent relative to their contemporaries in the league fighting for top 4? Or were they good relative to their age and experience? Because I think arguing the former is incredibly rose tinted.

  20. Pedro

    Gbat for the win.

    WE, so Ben W was winning titles in the Championship when they were at a very high average of headers per game.

  21. WengerEagle

    Gbat

    Fair play, that is actually some interesting analysis. Still, it could just be simply highlighting that the game is played increasingly on the floor which it is.

    You would have to get a look at the whole picture with numbers of headed goals scored, dangerous attacking scenarios with balls pumped into the box, etc and see if they have also decreased noticeably beforw drawing any major conclusions.

    Every goal kick used to be long and aerial, now even the weak PL teams play out from the back which would have a significant impact on no. of headers a game.

    It is still an exploitable tactic that a team can employ if they identify an aerial weakness in the side mind.

  22. Champagne Charlie

    “The data says Leicester city’s defence was better with him than without him, but you need to defend that idea that teenage defenders are bad so you give total goals even though Fofana didn’t play every game.“

    Read above.

    And no I don’t, you (and some others) just have a real difficulty coming to terms with the observation that teenage defenders are rarely, if ever, a net win in a side over a season. So much so you make ignorant remarks like I ‘blame Fofana for Leicester’s goal tally’.

    Pierre

    Do pop a hard boiled sweet, if you can’t fathom how Saka and ESR need to add to their games to be at a level for us to compete where we want then I’m not sure what to tell you.

    Saka and ESR drop another 14 g/a COMBINED and we won’t be in the top 4 convo again this season irrespective of their obvious promise.

  23. WengerEagle

    Pedro

    Mate come on, we’re Arsenal football club. What does excelling at Championship level have to do with coming in for a 50m fee to take us up a level? Benrahma looked a worldie in the Championship and did nothing in the PL.

    He only won 1.4 aerials a game last season, he’s not a tall defender, it’s a legitimate concern to have.

  24. azed

    Azed, you love to excuse other teams but refuse to when it’s your own club.

    Pedro

    On the contrary, I was one of the original posters of player poverty. Something you vehemently denied pre Arteta but has been your go to excuse since Arteta took over.

    I am one of the few people who have said our problems last year was scoring goals so we should focus all our energy on getting a Grealish caliber player.

    If you are wondering why some people here don’t excuse Arsenal, you should take a look at the mirror.

  25. Pedro

    WE, Ben White did do well in Prem and landed a call-up. If you can hack a weekly aerial assault in the Championship, you can probably handle it in the Prem.

    We’ll see though. Hopefully his leap is more tremendous than Vermaelen’s

  26. Pedro

    Azed, didn’t see you excuse us not having our best midfielder available last season? Or our best defender only playing 23 games? Or our striker having mental health issues and malaria?

    Those things only for the Champions and Leicester?

  27. azed

    Pedro

    Who is our best defender?

    Arteta was the one who decided not to register Ozil and placed his bet on William.

    Like I said earlier, our problems were in attack and not defence.

  28. azed

    Do you expect my to make excuses for Arteta going for a false 9 in an European Cup semi final?

    PS: Two years ago, you told us any decent manager could have gotten top 4 why would I need to make excuses for Sauce McSaucy?

  29. Pedro

    Azed, he was right to bin Ozil. Look at the uptick when he went. Look at how badly he’s flopped in a d-list league.

  30. WengerEagle

    Charlie

    No, your quote was:

    ”Leicester’s defence was objectively worse, and I think it’s dishonest for anyone to try and subvert from the fact Fofana was a contributor to that poorer record”

    “Based on the previous seasons 41 goals in 38 games (1.08 gpg) compared to 50 in 38 (1.32 gpg).”

    You’re falsely connecting him to 10/11 apps in which he literally played no part in. The fact is that this season Leicester WITH Fofana conceded 33 goals in 27 games (1.22 goals a game) and WITHOUT Fofana conceded 17 in 11 games (1.55 goals a game).

    So how has he objectively made them worse? They have significantly dropped off without him in the team in terms of goals conceded.

    There’s been a drop off from last season yes but is that not more likely to do with Soyuncu missing a host of games, Ricardo Pereira not being the same post ACL and Ndidi’s absence as opposed to Fofana’s supposed negative impact? The goals conceded drops from 1.55 without him to 1.22 with him so the data doesn’t support your take.

    And re Fofana and the younger lads, it’s quite the leap to go from they aren’t the best players in their respective postitions/profile of signing to they have actively harmed the team through their inclusions. Of course none of them are the finished article but Fofana was a positive addition to the Leicester side as ESR and Saka have been for us. None of them have taken their teams backwards, that is nonsense.

    It’s irrelevant if I believe Saka and ESR are as good as the top 4 contemporaries. The real question ought to be, are they a net positive for us and among our best players? Of which they both undoubtedly are, they are literally the last two positions after Partey and Tierney that we need to upgrade on.

  31. Pedro

    I’m reading Wengers book. It is such a weak showing. It reads like a rough outline. He should have hired a ghost writer.

  32. izzo

    Auba is finished. He hasn’t looked like scoring every game for a long time and i don’t see that changing once the season kicks off. If we really had ambitions to move up the table into CL places we would sell both Auba and Laca and throw money at younger creative and free scoring CAM and CF. In stead we’re buying defensive players that won’t help us put the ball in the back of the net now. We’re finishing 8th again. Where are the goals coming from this season without these signing. Things are looking the same to me. I don’t believe they’re looking to buy what we need in attack.

  33. Gommit

    I agree with izzo. We should try our best to get rid of our old strikers (+William and Xhaka and Bellerin) in this transfer window. If we manage to get one top CAM or ST/FC player with them gone we are in a good shape. Remember no European games means fewer games and more minutes for our young gunners is really positive

  34. China1

    We’ll see how white does in the air

    But defending in the air is a fundamental cornerstone of defending. ‘But did you see the way he turned his man and passed to Partey’ will be falling on deaf ears if 2 mins ago he lost a key aerial battle in the build up to a goal.

    Defenders must first and foremost be able to defend. Just like strikers should first and foremost be able to finish chances. A defender who is great on the ball but has a key defensive weakness is an issue just like a CF who has great link up play but can’t put the ball in the net. It causes a dependency on others to make up for their shortcoming. If the team can carry that weakness, sure. If they cannot you pay the price

    Look at Olivier giroud. He was always elite at link up but not good enough at putting the ball in the net. If we’d had more goals from our wife and midfield his weakness would’ve been covered, but we didn’t – so when we were playing those fine margins games we’d draw or lose with him missing one or two sitters and he’d take the heat for it.

    White either needs to do well in the air irrespective of his size or to be such an awesome contributor otherwise that losing aerial battles is considered an ok trade off because his contribution and the balance with his team mates is more than sufficient.

    People make the arguments time and again that Luiz made us better but the downside of his flaws was never justified or offset and there was no clear benefit to him being there on balance. White needs to be a much better player than Luiz for us to feel the difference

  35. RockyRoe

    It’s so damn funny watching Pedro doing his mental gymnastics to prove diet pep, knows what he doing. This site is like a parody now with people talking about what they see and Pedro keeping his hands on his ears and going “na-na-na-na”

  36. China1

    The lucky thing for white is all 3 of our other CBs are huge which helps

    Fuck me for YEARSwe we’re rolling with combinations between toure, vermaelen, gallas, kos

    All excellent footballers but none of them big. You want a big lump next to players like that

    Mari gab balding and even saliba are all huge. Just what the doctor ordered

  37. Emiratesstroller

    Guns of SF

    In normal circumstances I would be concerned about giving Xhaka a contract extension.

    However, selling Xhaka would mean that Arsenal would need to buy in this transfer window
    two top class MFs.

    I am not sure that making two changes this summer in that department makes sense for
    following reasons:

    1. We need to bring in a top class AMF/CMF who is creative and can score goals. That is
    likely to cost the club a lot of money particularly when you see the transfer fees offered for
    Grealish and Sancho.

    2. Arsenal have on their books Azeez and Patino two highly rated DMF/CMF young players
    who could be challenging for a place in the first team in the next couple of years. They
    could be ideal replacements for Xhaka.

    Arsenal were interested in both Locatelli and Neves who might be considered replacements
    for Xhaka, but it would seem that neither of these players are exactly jumping to join us.

    Having option of playing alongside Partey Xhaka or Lokonga looks better than Elneny.

  38. China1

    Sorry PHD missed your reply yesterday

    Yeah Beijing doesn’t look like Berlin but it has this atmosphere to it. It feels heavy like it’s carrying the weight of history despite the vast majority of buildings being post war. It’s not a place that is designed to cater much to western ideals even tho it has all the creature comforts of any modern city. It’s quite hard to explain. Very fun to visit and the forbidden city and other historic places very cool and worth visiting.

    Shanghai differs because it feels like it’s been designed to impress. The grand skyline and promenades, it all comes together like it’s been someone’s brain child for how to impress people, whereas Beijing is just as interesting but does not care what you think. That’s the best way I can describe it.

    You’re right about Shenzhen. It and Guangzhou basically border Hong Kong from the mainland side so the 3 combined cities are the worlds largest mega cluster, tho all feel very different. Guangzhou is traditionally an import export hub, Shenzhen is brand spanking new and was just a fishing village until a couple of decades ago. Now it looks more like Hong Kong!

    Shandong is nice and best known for the coastal city of qingdao where ‘Tsingtao’ beer comes from. Funnily enough that beer is better in China than abroad. Not elite by any means but a nice lager here.

    Inner Mongolia I’ve never been too. Yunnan in the south west is stand out gorgeous, but too many frickin tourists and the cities themselves are a big drop off from the east coast.

    Other areas in central China are famous for the kind of natural rock formations that inspired the landscape of that planet in avatar where they’re really narrow and vertical hills and mountains. Very pretty

    Between Tianjin and Beijing you can visit the great wall in the local mountain range but the hotels out in the countryside are gash lol. I’ve been stung by awful hotels too many times there

  39. Tony

    Welcome Ben White for joining the mine field that is Arsenal.

    If you can negotiate through the sea of incompetence that runs our club top to bottom, and still perform consistently well over the season, you’ll be worth what we are paying you and the fee your agent and BHA had us over with.

    Unfortunately, that fee is a millstone round your neck where you’ll be held to account for it instead of Arteta and Edu, as with Willian last season. You’ll see Arteta isn’t holding his hand up for that one and the many other season crippling errors, so watch your back Ben, playing solid football is not the only thing you’ll need to be good at. Lip service with Arteta will serve you well and bypass his infamous non negotiables.

    That said I genuinely hope you live up to Pedro’s billing of you, and that you become progressively better aerially and go on to become a new defensive legend to join Tony Adams and big Sol et al.

    Almunia
    Once again a great sketch. Keep them coming.

    LG
    Xhaka and Bellerin reported to us wanting them to stay with improved contracts.

    Can’t say I’m surprised by anything Arteta and Edu do if there’s any substance to the click bait.

    Was this in the back of Arteta and Edu’s minds when they decided to replace Luiz first rather than fixing the midfield problems of the last few seasons by using data since Xmas, and not taking into account that both have said emphatically they both want to leave?

    As an educated guess, I’d say Arteta is doing same as last season with Auoar in waiting and hoping he can land Odegaard with the other 8s & 10s just red herrings.

    Guess we’ll know in slightly over 4 weeks when Pedro finally names our finishing position target.

    Have a great weekend grovers.

  40. Tony

    Rm is reported to have set a price for Odegaard at: £45.5million.

    Personally, I think Odegaard is more worth that fee than White is at:£50million, but that’s just my opinion I know will not be agreed with from quite a few here.

    I found Ancelotti’s comments when RM bought Odegaard interesting and professional and a huge contrast to Arteta and the way Arteta has handled Saliba and Martinelli who Arteta had no say in their purchases the same as Carlo had no say in 16 year old Odegaard being bought by RM president Perez.

    Carlo said:.

    “He wrote: “When Real Madrid decided to sign a kid from Norway, 16-year-old Martin Ødegaard, I thought ‘I don’t care if he comes in or not because he’s not going to play for me now’.

    “He could go on to be the best player in the world after I’m gone, but I’m not interested in the signing because it isn’t of importance to my job.

    “Of course, when he arrived I treated him with the same respect I would give to any young player, but why would I want to be involved in his recruitment? He is being recruited for the future, for other managers after my time.

    “It is still vital to respect the vision of the owners. Florentino Pérez was well known for his Galácticos approach, where the biggest and most expensive superstars in world football are recruited, so players would arrive and depart who would not necessarily have been my choice, but it was my job to make the team work with whatever assets I was given.

    “It is a waste of time and energy to fight against something which has already happened. You must manage it. After all, that is why we are called managers.

    “If the president decides that, for a PR exercise, he needs the Norwegian boy to play three games with the first team, I will work out a way of doing that.””

  41. China1

    Tony that interview is surprisingly candid from Carlo

    Even referring to his inclusion as a PR exercise which is a little disparaging considering it tells everyone he’s not going to get picked on merit

    But I guess when at Madrid you know you’re always 3 games from the sack anyone so no point worrying about saying the wrong thing lol

  42. Tony

    China I wanted Carlo instead of Emery as did Charlie if memory serves me well.

    Good to see a manager being honest and open with his thinking.

    Arteta could learn a lot from Carlo, although from the last 18 months questions could be asked about how much Arteta learnt from Pep other than being a cheque book manager?

    Judging Arteta’s many failings not much would be the answer.

    Can’t wait for the Brentford game now and looking forward to playing Chelsea tomorrow and Spuds on the 8th.

    I doubt White will play tomorrow, but hopefully he’ll get minutes against the Spuds as I’m looking forward to getting acquainted with White’s performances in the PL.

    What’s your thoughts on if we are going to improve our midfield China before the window closes?

  43. Pierre

    Pedro disparagingly says
    ” ESR doesn’t stop talking about what he’s been asked to do.”

    5 minutes earlier wrote
    “Some nice quotes from Balogun.”..where Balogun was talking about what he wants to do..

  44. Sid

    “”””””””You don’t have the access to the mad stuff they run numbers against at Arsenal.””””””””””

    Is that how the landed at Runnarson?

  45. DivineSherlock

    I am so far positive about the incomings . White , Tavares and Lokonga are much better than Kolasinac , Ceballos and Luiz . Now if we can shift some deadweight quickly and bring a CAM that would be cool .

  46. raptora

    To dismiss the facts where White looks like one of the worst defenders in aerial duels, by the idea that players are heading the ball less than ever is disingenuous at best.

    Van Dijk was literally involved in 200 aerial duels per season in 2018/19 and 2019/20.

    2018/19 VVD won 156 lost 39 win% 80.0
    2019/20 VVD won 183 lost 43 win% 81.0

    2020/21 White won 52 lost 46 win% 53.1

    Funny thing about aerial duels is that you can decide to just not go in one. You can let the attacker play with the ball without you trying to compete for it. Then the aerial duel will never have happened. Of course, VVD would have jumped on twice as many aerial duels as he’d fancy himself to win in 4/5 of those. I mean, winning the ball after opponent’s goal kick, or corner, or free kick etc is surely as important as ever as top teams hold on to the ball so much these days.

    It is an obvious weakness in White as his 53% is absolutely horrendous and we need to set up with that idea in mind. Place a taller CB next to him to help him, get a towering CM great in the air, 189 cm Dumfries on RB would be an insane help etc.

    Our squad already needed height before White joined us. Now we need to plan according to it. Hiding our heads in the sand is not a good way to approach something as important.

  47. TR7

    It is thought Lautaro would be interested in a move to Arsenal if Inter want to sell him. An Arsenal move for him may be reliant on the departure of Alexandre Lacazette. It is believed his name has been mentioned to Inter but they are thought to only want cash. [@TheAthleticUK]

  48. Terraloon

    In so so many respects the debate comparing the stats of Luiz and White is irrelevant for me. It’s how they impact the game in terms of managing the opposition and indeed the space to avoid the need to tackle

    What I know is White had a very average season in the PL. Yes he got a call up to the enlarged England squad but the reality is COVID regulations ruled out Tomori who most believe was more deserving but irrespective White didn’t even get close to a starting berth in the competition proper.

    If you read Brighton’s forum you will see many comments suggesting that White was their third best central defender and from what I have seen of him , which I admit was limited he wasn’t memorable he was no more than adequate

    More often than not a top class defender is deemed to be top drawer more for how they stop situations arising. How well do they force an error without having to tackle, how they close the space down, how they force the opposition player onto their weaker foot etc.

    Add to that leadership and here I don’t see any comparison Luiz for all his supposed faults was a leader 8 just don’t see that in White

    £50 million is a massive sum for a non CL club to pay and in reality he at most is a £30 million player will he be an upgrade ? I am far from sure because as much as anything he will have the added pressure that such a huge fee brings .

    At this point in time bar the odd incoming the real top 4 contenders haven’t massively improved but they will over the next week or so but and here’s the big but despite quite a significant outlay I just don’t see enough to get excabout

  49. Useroz

    It should be a no brainer to most supporters what must be accomplished in this TW for Arsenal to have a freaking chance of bridging some glaring gaps in order to leave the 8th preccint. The dumb and dumber knew better of course.

    When folks started critical of the Ben White deal many weeks ago, the positivity said no worries, the order of deals didn’t matter, we have money etc etc…

    Now that media reports the club’s intent to extend the contracts of Xhaka and Bellerin (to protect their values supposedly??!), so called understanding, reasons started creeping in here to begin justifying the inexplicable decision, if happens as reported.

    Jeez, people wonder why isn’t everyone as positive as we ought to be….

    Great to read Carlos interview bits on Odegaarde…thanks Tony. What a contrast…

  50. Dissenter

    Glad someone is mentioning the fact that bar the COVID-19 restrictions, Tomori would have been a staple in the England set-up and certainly made the original call-up to the Euros.
    Please don’t mention that to Pedro

  51. Matt

    Less than a week until our first game of the season and we have made zero attacking signings. Plus we are now talking about extending Bellerin and Xhaka contracts. This club really do make it hard to be positive about the coming season.

  52. CG

    U

    “””””Now that media reports the club’s intent to extend the contracts of Xhaka and Bellerin (to protect their values supposedly??””””

    I thought Arteta stated , AFC were going to ‘ be ruthless’ at the end of last season.

    Instead we have seen the return of Fatty William ,
    Elneny still making basic errors , Sead K and even Runarsson was back in goal. ( can you believe that one?)

    Extensions to GX and Hector are beyond bizarre, when they have 24 months to run.

    Nearly as bizarre as this Ramsdale nonsense.

    The truth is the only thing Arteta has been ruthless about this sunmer – is his behaviour towards William Saliba.

    Not allowing him his chance in pre season and now allowing White to have his no.4 shirt.

    A & E & KSE are in tandem are making AFC a complete laughing stock.

    New ownership and expertise more imperative. than ever.

  53. Karsa

    It’s two weeks till the start of the season, and 30 days till the transfer window closes. Most teams won’t complete their business untill the end of the window. Same as it ever is.

  54. Davi

    The Xhaka contract situation makes no sense. One of the reasons we can’t shift him is because no one wants to pay him the wages he’s currently getting. We can’t be dumb enough to offer him increased wages, surely? But if we don’t, then he wouldn’t sign?
    If we do offer him higher wages and keep him on, he’ll just be here until he has a year left on his contract again when he’s at least a year or two older – it doesn’t protect his value, it just makes him even harder to sell. It has to be a ploy or some made up nonsense… Right?

  55. China1

    Those thinking the new contracts are a ploy are crediting artedu with being way smarter than either of them are

    Arteta already convinced xhaka to stay when he was nearly leaving when he first came in. He loves him and thinks he’s fantastic. If xhaka didn’t want to leave there’s no way he’d sell. He’d rather play him at LB than drop him. The commitment runs deep

    As long as xhaka can possibly be tempted by the money then he is staying

  56. Davi

    China – yeah I’m worried. On the flip side, it could just made up, or Xhaka could be dead set on leaving. If only Roma are interested, it makes it hard to see him going in this window, though. He could reject any contract offers from us and let his contract wind down – wouldn’t like that, but preferable to him signing on for longer

  57. Leftside

    I reckon we will end up caving to Roma, and I would be happy with that. This is the same club that turned down £10m for Gibbs to then sell him for £7m in the same window, and we’re now under two imbeciles that make later Wenger and Ivan look like geniuses of the transfer market.

  58. Dissenter

    China1/Leftside
    I think Artedu are sincerely trying to turn the screws on Roma and Inter but unfortunately they are recalling two players who are desperate to leave.

    That’s why the bluff doesn’t bother me, neither Bellerin nor Xhaka will accept Arsenal’s offer if an extension. Like, Mustafi they will decline it.

  59. Leftside

    Diss

    I am also with that train of thought, I just hope that Xhaka and Bellerin don’t have a change of heart. I think its time we move on from them.

  60. Leedsgunner

    Arsenal offering £30m to Inter plus Alexandre Lacazette and Hector Bellerin for their striker Martinez.

    Considering Inter was asking to take Bellerin on loan, and in Lacazette they would have a ready made experienced replacement for Martinez… plus a wad of cash. I think they might go for it… plus we get an excellent striker in return.

    To be honest if we’re going to spend £30m, I rather spent it like this rather than on Ramsdale.

  61. Gonsterous

    Anyone else been. Watching highlights from last season to hype themselves up for this coming one only to be disappointed at how poor we were on the ball last season.

    Fking highlights look like lowlights, with us hoarding the ball at the back, and every player looking so afraid and timid.
    Style of play so rigid, we really so heavily on individual brilliance.

    No control in midfield of any game, will that change this season? So far we have the same mid so no.

  62. China1

    All I really hope is that Xhaka and Bellerin fight tooth and nail to get out

    Fuck the extra couple of million for Xhaka

    We’ve just thrown buckets of cash at Brighton for White and when they said they want more been like ok bro take more of my money and handed it straight over, now we’re trying to save 2 million on Xhaka. What is the significance of that 2m when we could afford to pay 50m for white whilst having a 38m offer for local also in the background? it’s pennies

    the problem with Bellerin is we supposedly were considering loaning him to Inter with an option to buy which would be shocking business. If we can include him in a trade for anyone who improves us it will be much better since no one is going to pay actual cash for him

  63. China1

    ginsterous unless we get one or two more quality central players then all we can do is hope Lokonga is class. Not that he’ll start ahead of Xhaka if Xhaka renews anyway….

  64. raptora

    Matheus Cunha can’t stop scoring btw.
    Should have went hard for him if we were looking for an offensive player in this window. Now, I’m struggling to see why would Hertha sell him for anything below 50m.

  65. Marko

    So Barcelona or City last summer were being linked to Lautaro and apparently quoted like 70-90 million and we’re offering 30 million and Bellerin (who people want only on loan with an option) and Lacazette (who has a year left and can be got for 15 million). Yeah I don’t think it’s going to happen. Too good for us anyhow

  66. CG

    China

    “””””We’ve just thrown buckets of cash at Brighton for White and when they said they want more been like ok bro take more of my money and handed it straight over,””””

    According to the Athletic- Garlick had SIX bids for the player before acceptance AND also agreed a SELL ON clause!!!

    He has now had FOUR bids rejected by Sheffield for Ramsdale!!.

    What sane person- has x 4 attempts in signing Ramsdale??

    Bonkers.

  67. Leftside

    Ramsdale at £30m is a heist, if he were £10m then fair enough.

    I’d love to see Martinez come in because I’m not sure if our forwards will score enough goals and we need an attacking midfielder. We need to get it done too as there are tough games at the start of our campaign.

  68. Dissenter

    If it’s true that we agreed to a sell-on clause for a defender with one year middling premier league experience after paying £50 million + 5 million
    …then we have a category 5 problem on our hands.
    I’m just going to pretend that we can’t be that stupid.

  69. TR7

    Marko

    Laturo is not so good that we need to offer Inter Laca, Bellerin and some cash on top of it. Will be a horrible deal.

  70. Goldkamp

    Tr7
    Bellerin and to some extent Laca are coming to the end of their usefulness for the club,so them plus a bit of doe for lautoro would be good business
    He’s 23 and has got a bit of the Suarez about him

  71. Vickingz

    @Goldkamp, there’s no bit of suarez in lautaro, he hardly or by fluke most times go past a player, he ain’t even that pacy, lukaku is faster than him, and all what he goes away with in Serie A, he’s definitely not going away with it in EPL. On how many occasions has he made solo runs, solo goals?

  72. Dissenter

    We are. Nit going to go through that hassle to get Martinez whimsies to speak English and may need time to settle in when we can get Tammy Abraham for £30-35 million.

  73. andy1886

    Apparently The Athletic say we’re going to have to sell before we buy again which shows what bollocks Pedro’s claim that the order we sign players doesn’t matter is. It also suggests that the idea that we’ll be spending £150m above any sales that ES claimed is also complete garbage.

    Don’t expect any apologies though when all that optimistic drivel turns out to be fake news.

  74. Karsa

    I don’t think we have to sell before we buy because we haven’t got the money. Squad space and the fact that if we buy midfielders before we sell we will decimate the value of those outgoing is more to the point.

  75. Dissenter

    The daily Star [yeas, that toe rag] is reporting that there’s a 20 million sell on clause that has to be paid to Brighton when Ben White is moved on.
    It doesn’t stipulate the conditions under which it’s activated though, maybe if we sell him for over 100 million, Brighton gets £20 million.
    Either way Edu, Garland are suckers for agreeing to any form of sell on. When you pay that much you’re getting 100% of the player with no strings attached.

  76. Dissenter

    Karsa
    The stalling of the Xhaka deal disproves the notion that squad space is the rate limiting factor. If this was about squad space then we would be moving out Xhaka to free space, instead we are squabbling over 2-5 million.
    The story about selling to buy before making more purchases rings more plausibility

  77. andy1886

    Sorry Karsa, don’t agree. We’ve loaned players before, we loaned Saliba and will bench Holding for White so what’s the difference?

    AMN was loaned last season, Elneny has been loaned out before as have Torreira, Willock and Guendouzi. Yet you think this season we have to sell to create space. We’ve even not registered players if necessary.

    This ‘squad place’ claim sounds like another excuse to defend piss poor planning.

  78. andy1886

    Dear oh dear, his value will not be zero. It might be a few million less but surely that’s better than failing to improve our midfield and having another poor season don’t you think?

  79. Karsa

    andy.

    We have 30 days left in the window. I’d be very disappointed if we don’t sign at least two more potential first teamers. I’m still confident that we will.

  80. S Asoa

    Credits to Raptora
    But merits repeating,

    Aerial duels:Van Dijk won 519 lost 138 won% 79.0
    Maguire won 618 lost 207 won% 74.9
    Varane won 255 lost 87 won% 74.6
    Stones won 181 lost 63 won% 74.2
    Dias won 60 lost 28 won% 68.2
    Saliba won 93 lost 45 won% 67.4
    Holding won 133 lost 99 won % 57.3
    White won 52 lost 46 won% 53.1

    To what extent and expense Arteta has gone to enforce his dipshit non-negotiable s.
    The table explains it so clearly.

    Maybe with both Saliba and White under some proper manager not rancid saucekraut . Both will compliment each other covering up the other’s deficiencies

  81. Mark

    Just catching up in the last few days.
    Absolutely pissing myself to see Charlie double down on his ESR & Saka cost us nonsense. Anything to never be seen as wrong.

    Despite all the bluster ,How insecure you must really be. To write such convoluted posts which twist this way and that, then back on themselves… Uugh !! It’s all just such nonsense.

    I notice Pedro keeps quiet on the Saka ESR debate and how they cost us. Quick enough to try to shut anyone else down. But surprised (not really) how that statement about how two of our best performers , had a negative impact on arsenal.

    According to CC , as teenagers compared to other teams older players in the same position ESR and Saka had a negative impact on arsenal’s performances, as they haven’t reached their full potential.
    Like, whatthefuckdidyoujustsay !!!

    So how well they performed within their own team is not relevant and has no value.

    Do you realise how stupid you look by not only putting that narrative out there, but by persisting with it just makes you look a right ‘ Charlie ‘ to put it really politely.

    So much so that not even Pedro who will have your back at times, wants absolutely nothing to do with that Bollox!!!

    You’re on your own with that one CC.

  82. China1

    Is it right that we only have two more preseason games before the season begins?

    And so far unless lokonga is a starter and quality (even if he’s quality xhaka will be the starter), we’ve done absolutely zero work on our main problem areas of CM and RB

    A couple of weeks ago Pedro you were saying the order of signings doesn’t make a difference. If our first signing had been an elite CM or RB instead of Tavares don’t you think we might have gotten more benefit out of that…?

  83. Marko

    Laturo is not so good that we need to offer Inter Laca, Bellerin and some cash on top of it.

    I completely disagree. A highly rated 23 year old that massive clubs are looking at signing vs two players we’re struggling to get rid of is a no brainer but luckily it’s complete bollocks either way because he’s too good for us anyhow

  84. S Asoa

    Henderson from Man U might cost around 35 million and would help Man U to quell a rebellion in their ranks, which is the only thing that makes this deal for a real deal of a goalkeeper possible. Needs cojones on the part of Mikel to tell Leno, congrats bro, you are now promoted to No 2

  85. Goldkamp

    Viking
    Martinez is quality
    He can come deep and pick up the ball,he can hang of the last defenders for he can run at players
    My only worry would be that looks good playing with lukaku,,we haven’t got a lukaku

  86. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    I’m sure we can conclude that the signing of white is certain to kill any hopes of saliba having an arsenal career.
    Do we all agree?

  87. China1

    RSPC any hope of saliba having an arsenal career died when arteta and he agreed on a loan move this season

  88. Matt

    If anyone but Arteta was overseeing this window, which so far has been dreadful, he would be absolutely tearing into them on a daily basis, but like with all things Arteta related, he gets a free pass.

  89. Gentlebris

    We have spent £50m on a CB, maybe not a bad idea…maybe it’s even a statement of ambition.

    But no matter what Arteta says, defense was not our worse problem last term. The real issue was creativity in our attack system.

    Now if we show a £50m ambition in an area where there was no serious alarm last season and then fail to show same or bigger ambition in areas where the alarms were mind blowing, then it’s poor management.

    In fact, it’s crazy management.

  90. Gentlebris

    Then I think Xhaka isn’t coming back. We are just playing poker with Roma.

    Xhaka will be moved.

    We are right to hold on a bit, some other club may sell a player and need a replacement.

    We have a swiss captain who just set the euro alight and who is ready to settle for €50,000 a week.

    So let’s see…

  91. Champagne Charlie

    “I notice Pedro keeps quiet on the Saka ESR debate and how they cost us. Quick enough to try to shut anyone else down. But surprised (not really) how that statement about how two of our best performers , had a negative impact on arsenal.“

    Nobody said they’re a negative to us outside a particular context so maybe try and follow the thread before offering your gormless two cents.

    I’ve said numerous times that I think the introduction of ESR last season massively changed us for the better. So not a very bright comment to jump on the back of and claim otherwise. But are they as good as their contemporaries in the league? No. It’s such a basic opinion ffs

    And Pedro did remark about the current kids:

    “Pierre, great young kids, but the output needs to double for them to be seen as elite. Not sure how you can look at our creative output and not understand it’s below where we need to be. ESR doesn’t stop talking about what he’s been asked to do”

    Is anyone going to put up an argument denying that Saka/ESR need to drop more than 14 g/a combined for us to challenge top 4? No, because many expect them to improve, me included. But arguing against the blatantly obvious view that they’re a level below the Grealish, Sterling, Salah, Bruno, Bernardo, Mount’s of the league is really something.

  92. Globalgunner

    How did Xhaka set Euro alight?. He played well in game where no one put him under any pressure and collected his customary stack of yellows that ruled him out of the next crucial match. That will only impress someone who hasn’t watched him play for the last 5 years. He is a certified liability to any team.

  93. China1

    Rspc yeah either we sell him at a loss or he takes another loan next year and goes on a free lol

    Arteta doesn’t want him and he doesn’t want arteta. The only way he has an arsenal career is if arteta is sacked and the new guy sees him as worthy of competing for a first team spot.

  94. China1

    I’d have taken saliba as 4th choice CB and spent 25m on Aouar and 35m on buendia

    Only net 10m worse off than now but with our midfield revolutionized and a perfectly reasonable 4th choice CB with a really high ceiling.

    But I know it all sounds too logical!

  95. Gonsterous

    We are winning the transfer window lads.
    Top 2 here we come.

    Tavares, longonka, wite. The 3 amigos (is this racist)?

  96. Dissenter

    Leon Bailey to Aston Villa done for about £35 million
    They’ll surely be moving on Grealish.

    Just goes to show how eager continental European clubs are desperate for fund and annoying that we misread the market.