Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell spoke to Sky Sports today about the things Ben White will bring to Mikel Arteta’s side.
The Gunners signed Nuno Tavares earlier this month and Albert Sambi Lokonga was announced yesterday. Everyone is almost certain that White will be the next player to join us, and he will arguably be our biggest signing of the summer.
Sky Sports revealed yesterday that Arsenal have agreed a deal with Brighton to sign White for a guaranteed £50 million in structured payments with no add ons. He is expected to undergo a medical when he returns from holiday next week, and Gooners can’t wait to see him in action.
Kevin Campbell: Why Ben White fits the bill at Arsenal perfectly
Campbell was asked about his former club signing White and he believes that Mikel Arteta has got himself a fine player. He claims that the Englishman is a ‘specialist’ in doing something that Arsenal really lacked last season.
He told Sky Sports: “Yeah, I think it’s a good deal, I think Mikel Arteta has coveted a centre back who can be really comfortable on the ball and who can defend aggressively and I think Ben White fits that bill perfectly.
“£50million – some might say it’s a bit pricey but he is a full England international now. He’s gone through a great loan spell at Leeds. He went back to Brighton and played pretty well last season as well. He can play in multiple positions and I think this is going to be a really good signing for Arsenal.
“The key to what Arsenal and Mikel Arteta want to do is they want to play out from the back. If you don’t have a centre-back or central defensive pairing who can help the team progress up the pitch, then you suffer, and that’s what happened with Arsenal last season.
“They suffered at the top end of the pitch, a lot of the time because they couldn’t get the player to break the lines, and Ben White is pretty much a specialist at doing that.”
The Insider’s View:
David Luiz, in ways, was among the best in the world in terms of centre-halves capable of passing in between the lines. He left Arsenal last month and Arteta has been desperate to bring in a replacement ever since.
White is very good with the ball at his feet and he could well replicate what Luiz had been doing for us. The Englishman, like the veteran, can ping long diagonals effortlessly, and he’s not too bad a defender either.
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Arsenal have definitely gone above and beyond to get White but he’s a fantastic player. He’s still only 23 and he’ll only get better, and if things really work out, he will end up being a fine player for us for the better part of the next decade.