, Arsenal Need Attacking Solutions This Summer, Not Brighton’s Ben White, The Nzuchi News Forbes

Arsenal Need Attacking Solutions This Summer, Not Brighton’s Ben White

, Arsenal Need Attacking Solutions This Summer, Not Brighton’s Ben White, The Nzuchi News Forbes

While Arsenal endured a dismal 2020/21 season, finishing a lowly eighth, only two teams boasted a better defensive record than the Gunners. Indeed, the fundamental issues with Mikel Arteta’s side were not found at the back, but further forward where there was a distinct lack of invention and cutting edge.

With this in mind, it’s somewhat peculiar that Arsenal have seemingly prioritised the signing of a new central defender this summer. Recent reports claim Ben White is a target for the North London club with the England international the subject of an offer worth £45m plus £5m in add-ons. 

White is an exceptional young talent. The 23-year-old impressed in his first Premier League season for Brighton last term having received a soccer education working under Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds United the season before that. White would be a good fit for Arsenal, a team that likes to play out from the back.

If, however, Arsenal have £50m to spend on a single target this summer it should be focused on someone who can transform their attack. The Gunners managed only 55 goals in 38 Premier League games last season – every team above them, and Leeds United, scored more. This is where their greatest deficiency is.

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Emile Smith Rowe’s emergence as a first team figure eased Arsenal’s need for a midfield creator, but the 20-year-old is far from the finished product. What’s more, Smith Rowe has yet to commit his long-term future to the Gunners, with a £25m offer from Aston Villa testing Arsenal’s resolve to hold on to the youngster.

, Arsenal Need Attacking Solutions This Summer, Not Brighton’s Ben White, The Nzuchi News Forbes

It’s not that Arsenal don’t have attacking talent, it’s that they lack someone to link the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Nicolas Pepe and Smith Rowe in the final third of the pitch. Arteta needs a goalscoring, assist-making midfielder in much the same way Manchester United did before they signed Bruno Fernandes.

Arsenal needed to clear the decks before they could build things up again under Arteta. The decision to allow Mesut Ozil, the highest-paid player at the club, leave six months before the end of his contract in January was the right one, but the German hasn’t yet been replaced at the Emirates Stadium. 

James Maddison has been linked with a move to North London. He is the sort of player, and character, who would give Arsenal some much-needed presence in the attacking third. Arteta doesn’t just need talented players, he needs players who can make decisions for themselves when on the pitch. Philippe Coutinho is another who has been tentatively linked with Arsenal.

The signing of White this summer would improve Arsenal’s squad. There’s a chance that if the Gunners don’t capture the England centre back, someone else will. However, the Gunners must be smart in the transfer market. Their budget is more modest than that of some of their rivals and so certain positions must be prioritised. Arsenal have other things to worry about before they consider White a signing they can’t miss out on.

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