Phillips: I'm concerned for White after source reveals Arsenal transfer 'mistake'
Kevin Phillips is concerned about the pressure Ben White is under following his move from Brighton to Arsenal.
The Sunderland legend, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insists the Gunners have paid far too much for the defender.
On Friday (30th July), Arsenal announced the capture of White, 23, on a long-term contract.
On 3rd July, Football Insider revealed the deal is worth close to £50million including performance-related add-ons.
He will wear the number four shirt and is tasked with shoring up an Arsenal defence that came in for heavy criticism last season.
Phillips insists White is talented and will only get better but admits he is concerned about the pressure a £50million price tags puts on a young player.
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“It’s a lot of pressure to put on a young player,” Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Ben Wild.
“For me, Arsenal have paid far too much. It’s a lot of money. The fee is a mistake.
“He is a quality player but he’s had one good season. He was good at Leeds but then he’s had one decent season in the Premier League with Brighton.
“£50million is a hell of a lot of money and what that brings is pressure.
“We’ve seen some young players over the years who just can’t handle it.
“Being an Arsenal fan, I’m concerned. There’s a bit of doubt there, can he step up in that first season?
“Undoubtedly, he has quality. He matches what Arteta is trying to do in playing out from the back.
“He travels well with the ball so my only concern is the pressure of that fee.
“Ultimately he will get better and better as time goes on.”