Former England striker Kevin Phillips has claimed that Arsenal overpaid to bring promising centre-back, Ben White, to the Emirates Stadium.
The 23-year-old penned a long-term contract with the club after former club Brighton held out for a whopping £50million, a hefty fee considering he only has one season of top-flight football under his belt.
White will wear the famous number four shirt for the Gunners, a jersey that has previously been donned by the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Patrick Vieira, something that Phillips thinks could put too much pressure on the English defender.
“It’s a lot of pressure to put on a young player,” Phillips told Football Insider.
“For me, Arsenal have paid far too much. It’s a lot of money. The fee is a mistake.
“He is a quality player but he’s had one good season. He was good at Leeds but then he’s had one decent season in the Premier League with Brighton.
“£50million is a hell of a lot of money and what that brings is pressure. We’ve seen some young players over the years who just can’t handle it.”
Phillips admitted that as a self-proclaimed Arsenal fan the deal worries him, with the hefty fee potentially impacting White’s performances.
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“Being an Arsenal fan, I’m concerned. There’s a bit of doubt there, can he step up in that first season? Undoubtedly, he has quality. He matches what Arteta is trying to do in playing out from the back.
“He travels well with the ball so my only concern is the pressure of that fee. Ultimately he will get better and better as time goes on.”
White featured in 36 Premier League games last term, illustrating his versatility with performances at centre-back, right-back and even in midfield.
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