Arsenal are a step closer to buying Ben White from Brighton & Hove Albion. Per David Ornstein, the two clubs have an “agreement in principle” for a £50M transfer for the defender, subject to a medical. Per other reports, the deal has no add-ons, but I’ve seen some reporting that the Seagulls wanted and got a sell-on clause in the agreement. The defender is expected to sign a deal at the Emirates through 2026.
We’ve written plenty about a potential move for Ben White. I initially didn’t think much of it, but it became quickly clear that he was high on Mikel Arteta’s list of targets and that the Gunners were likely to make the move happen. I don’t have much of an opinion on the transfer — he’s a good player, strong enough to make the England squad and he’ll make Arsenal better. It’s a lot of money, but I have to assume that the Gunners can afford it.
It fills a position of need, too. Arsenal have a gap in the roster on the right side of the defense, and White can play RCB, RB, and even defensive midfield. I’ve also got to assume that moving for White (and Tavares and Lokonga) won’t preclude the Gunners from signing an attacking, creative reinforcement, another position of need identified by Arteta & company. It’s arguably the most important void that needs filling in North London this transfer window. Arsenal have been linked with James Maddison and Houssem Aouar in that spot, but neither seem particularly close to a move right now.
Regardless of what you think of the transfer or the player, it’s undeniable that Arsenal are committed to remaking the roster as guided by Mikel Arteta’s vision and that they’re giving him the financial support to do so. The best we can hope for is that he and the people around him know what they are doing.