"He's got an old-school mentality, but he can play football as well" - Former Premier League star chooses Arsenal defender over Raphael Varane

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta

Former Premier League winger Shaun Wright-Phillips surprisingly believes Arsenal defender Ben White is a better signing than Raphael Varane, who is expected to join Manchester United soon.

White moved to Arsenal for a hefty £50 million, making him the most expensive defender in the Gunners’ history.

Arsenal stepped up to their efforts to sign the England international following David Luiz’s exit, and the defender is expected to play a key role for the Gunners this season.

Wright-Phillips explained that Arsenal needed a player like White to take them forward, and said he would choose the England ace over Varane.

“One thing I thought Arsenal missed was a defender like him [Ben White]. He’s got an old-school mentality but he can play football as well. Varane has come into a whole new league and he is going to be put under immense pressure.

Asked which of the two defenders he would prefer, Wright-Phillips said:

“At this moment, I would definitely say Ben White.”

Ben White and Raphael Varane are expected to be integral to Arsenal and Manchester United

There have been several big-money defensive signings this summer. Raphael Varane’s move to Manchester United hasn’t been confirmed yet. When Varane does sign, he will join the likes of Ibrahima Konate, Cristian Romero and Ben White in making a big-money move to a top club in the Premier League.

Varane and White are expected to play key roles for Manchester United and Arsenal respectively, with both clubs hoping to push on from last season.

White’s inclusion will make it easier for the Gunners to play put from the back, and his defensive qualities will add more stability to the back line.

Manchester United, on the other hand, needed a more solid and consistent partner for Harry Maguire. In Varane, they have signed one of the best left centre-backs in Europe.

Although Varane is a few years older than White, he is still a world-class player. Having helped Real Madrid to numerous titles and France to a World Cup, it’s unlikely he will be fazed by the Premier League.

It’s likely that the Frenchman will make Wright-Phillips, whose views seem a bit biased towards his compatriot Ben White, eat his words.

Related: Fabrizio Romano's Transfer Roundup: Chelsea's plans for the transfer window, Arsenal complete signing and more

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Edited by Arvind Sriram

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