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Arsenal’s ‘Rapahel Varane problem’ is the biggest for Mikel Arteta to solve

Former Arsenal captain William Gallas ripped into his old club’s decision to pay Brighton £50million for Ben White, comparing it to Manchester United’s pursuit of Raphael Varane

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Arsenal 3-0 AFC Wimbledon: Mikel Arteta post match

Arsenal’s summer window spending spree was arguably the most polarising of any Premier League club.

Mikel Arteta wanted to refresh his squad – £150million and six signings later, the Spaniard had his wish granted.

But the arrivals were hardly ones to get the pulses racing, with Gunners boss clearly keeping one eye on the future.

“We have to balance the squad better,” Arsenal ’s technical director Edu explained. “We have to recruit the players with the right characteristics and the right profile to make the squad better, more solid and much more consistent because last season we suffered with consistency.”

Edu spoke with clarity about how they were building foundations for the future, but there are still concerns about the present.



Arsenal’s technical director Edu opened up on the club’s summer transfer policy




Despite that squad overhaul, Arteta watched his charges lose their first three Premier League games of the season, only steadying the ship in the last fortnight.

However, with Arsenal still appearing someway away from challenging for the Champions League spots, their place in the Premier League pecking order is a sobering one.

A look at the names that came to the Emirates this summer and it’s clear that the Gunners are swimming in a different pool to the teams they used to see as title rivals.

Aaron Ramsdale for £24million, Albert Sambi Lokonga for £18m – both talented players, but it feels unlikely that Chelsea and Manchester City would have been looking at similar targets.









Ben White’s £50m acquisition is another that raises eyebrows. A two-time England international, White had played just one season in the top-flight and another in the Championship.

Other than those two, his 42 appearances for Newport County in League Two during the 2017/18 season was his biggest campaign.

Former Arsenal captain William Gallas ripped into his old club, asking why they paid such a fee for the ex-Brighton defender, when in the same window Manchester United landed Raphael Varane for £34m.



William Gallas ripped into Arsenal’s decision to sign Ben White for £50m




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“It’s difficult for me to understand why Arsenal spent £50m on one player who is yet to prove himself at the top level and at the same time Manchester United can spend around £40m on Varane who won the World Cup and has four Champions League titles,” he told GentingBet.

“He’s won the Spanish league. You have to explain to me how it’s possible. Perhaps it’s partly because Ben White is English.

“Listen, Varane is a different class player compared to Ben White. Ben White is still young.







“I respect him and I hope he will be the great player, but he hasn’t proven anything yet. You can’t compare Ben White and Varane, I’m sorry. It’s not possible.”

Unfortunately for Arteta, that’s his biggest issue in the transfer market. By the end of this season, it will be five years since Arsenal’s last Champions League game and the Gunners failed to qualify for European football of any kind in 2021/22.

It means Arsenal are no longer able to appeal to the continent’s biggest names and until Arteta can re-establish them as a contender, it will be about building stars, rather than being able to buy established ones.


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