Today Arsenal were linked with Brighton’s Ben White. Reports are the South Coast side are demanding £40million for him.
I like Ben White.
He performed well ofr Leeds in the Champions last season, and had a decent season for Brighton in the Premier League this.
He is a ball playing centre back who is a level ahead of Rob Holding, and would potentially make a good partner to Gabriel.
But the link to White has woken up the William Saliba fan boys from their slumber.
Some Arsenal fans have a really unhealthy relationship with Saliba.
They talk about him like he is already a superstar. That he would be one of the best centre backs in the Premier League.
Everytime Arsenal are linked with a central defender, they cry foul play and screa Saliba’s name at the top of their voices.
But how much have they actually seen of him? Probably a handful of games in Ligue 1.
The only time he pulled on the Arsenal senior shirt – in a pre-season friendly against Milton Keynes Dons last summer – he was poor.
Now he is still a kid. Just 20-years-old. So may well develop into a beast of a defender. So I am not writing him off.
But I am also not buying into the hype that is going on.
It feels at times that those hyping Saliba are doing so for the sole reason that they do not like Mikel Arteta.
It is simple in their minds – any player that Arteta does not select regularly (Saliba, Reiss Nelson, Gabriel Martinelli) is a superstar. Anyone that Arteta likes (Holding, Hector Bellerin, Bukaya Saka) is overatted. Average.
Some fans really do have an unhealthy obession with a player who has yet to make his senior debut for Arsenal. The fact he has “fan accounts” is very odd.
So we awake today with Arsenal being linked to a very good English central defender; and instead ob eing excited about his signing Twitter has gone into overdrive hyping up a player that they have hardly seen.
Saliba is not in the French squad for Euro 2021. He does not even get into their U21 squad. The last time he was picked for a French side was in 2019 for their U21s.
So when you break it down, Saliba was signed under Unai Emery and loaned straight out. Arteta was also happy to see him loaned out. Didier Deschamps prefers Kurt Zouma for the senior squad. And Sylvain Ripoll has yet to call him up to the U21.
That is 4 managers. All of whom have yet to give him a minutes play.
I hope Saliba is giving a chance at Arsenal. But he gets that chance when he is ready.
If the management believe Ben White is a better option. We back that.
The biggest worry is we sign White, there will be a group of fans hoping he makes a mistake and costs Arsenal posts so that they continue tweeting their obession over Saliba. they would not want White, or Arsenal, to suceed.
Have a good Saturday