White cost Arsenal £50 million after just one season playing in the Premier League, while Manchester United’s signing of Raphael Varane from Real Madrid set them back £36m
William Gallas says he feels that Arsenal were ripped off in their transfer deal for Ben White.
The Gunners shelled out £50 million to sign the 23-year-old from Brighton & Hove Albion during the summer window, a fee which came under scrutiny following Manchester United ‘s acquisition of Raphael Varane.
Gallas’ French compatriot cost the Red Devils £36m, having won four Champions League titles at Real Madrid and establishing himself as one of the world’s best centre-backs.
The ex-Arsenal man says he finds it “difficult” to understand his former club’s decision to pay so much for White, who became an England international during transfer negotiations, compared to Varane.
Gallas told GentingBet : “It’s difficult for me to understand why Arsenal spent £50million on a player who is yet to prove himself at the top level and at the same time Manchester United can spend around £40million on Varane.
“You have to explain to me how it’s possible. Perhaps it’s partly because Ben White is English,” the 44-year-old noted.
“Varane is a different class player compared to Ben White. Ben White is still young. As I said, he hasn’t proved anything yet. How can you put a £50million price on him, you know?”
Did Arsenal pay too much for White? Give us your verdict here.
Gallas reiterated: “I respect him. I don’t know him. I respect him and I hope he will be the great player, but he hasn’t proved anything yet. You can’t compare Ben White and Varane, I’m sorry. It’s not possible.
“It’s not because he’s a fellow Frenchman that I’m talking like this,” he added. “He comes from Real Madrid. He didn’t come from Brighton, with all respect to them.”
A contemporary of Gallas’, Rio Ferdinand, was one of the high-profile names who questioned White’s price tag and why the Gunners purchased him over a more established name, despite his impressive season under Graham Potter on the south coast.
Ferdinand told the FIVE YouTube channel : “The issue I have with Arsenal is you can’t buy players for a year down the line. Ben White is good now but what you need is someone to come in and grab the players in the training ground.
“I feel that at this stage of his career, Ben White needs a partner to bring him a lot, like a Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane or Thiago Silva,” the ex-United centre-back said.
“Arsenal have needed a centre-back to come in and defend. Ben White will end up being a decent signing but the biggest issue he’s got is if I was being courted with Arsenal now I’d think, ‘who am I playing with?’
“If I’m him I’m thinking, “I need some help, I’m getting exposed’.”