Former Chelsea man Shaun Wright-Phillips has stated Manchester United missed the trick by signing Raphael Varane instead of Arsenal star Ben White.
Manchester United and Arsenal have spent big on central defenders in this transfer window. Raphael Varane will soon be announced as a Manchester United pkayer, while the Gunners spent a massive £50 million to acquire Ben White from Brighton & Hove Albion. Both those signings have certainly upgraded the defence of their respective clubs heading into the new season.
Manchester United, in particular, had been struggling at the back last term. The likes of Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailey have been underwhelming for most parts barring some brilliant displays. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, therefore, wanted to take the club to the next level and needed a top-class, stable central defender to partner with Harry Maguire.
The capture of Raphael Varane has certainly received plaudits, especially considering how much the Frenchman cost. It could be attributed to the duration of his Real Madrid contract, but Manchester United have a prime defender, ready to give his best years to the club. The problem could be that Varane or Maguire will not be playing together for lots of years.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have thought of the long-term future of the defence before signing White. Mikel Arteta wants to pair the 23-year-old alongside Gabriel, who was signed last summer. The overall age group of the Gunners’ central defenders looks healthy, and the manager could plan the long term future, counting on them.
“It’s a big statement but Varane is coming into a brand new league with pressure.”
“I’d definitely say Ben White.” ✅
Shaun Wright-Phillips says Ben White is a better signing than Raphael Varane.
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) August 11, 2021
Former Chelsea winger Shaun Wright-Phillips has approved of the Arsenal signing while suggesting Manchester United should have signed White instead of Varane. The Manchester Evening News published some of the quotes from Saha’s episode on talkSPORT, the former Chelsea forward said, “One thing I thought Arsenal have missed is a defender like him.
“He has got an old-school mentality, but he can play football as well. Yes, I personally do [think he will do better than Varane]. I know it’s a big statement, but he’s used to the Premier League, and he’s used to defending a lot for Brighton, week-in and week-out. Varane is coming into a whole new league, and he’s going to be put under immense pressure. At this very moment, I would definitely sign Ben White.”
Despite Wright-Phillips’s comments, conventional wisdom would suggest that Varane is more of a game changer than White as things stand. Nevertheless, both players have the pedigree to positively affect Manchester United and Arsenal, respectively and it will be interesting to see if the former Chelsea ace is proven right, if White outshines Varane.