‘Ben White is very overrated’: Gabby Agbonlahor urges Mikel Arteta to DROP his England international centre-back in favour of William Saliba after he won the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year while on loan at Marseille
- Gabriel Agbonlahor believes Ben White should lose his place to William Saliba
- The ex-Aston Villa star called the Arsenal and England defender ‘very overrated’
- He prefers Saliba – who has just returned from a successful loan spell at Marseille
- The defender won the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award whilst in France
- Agbonlahor was impressed by the youngster’s speed and decision-making
- He said that Arsenal’s defence was ‘nowhere near good enough to get top four’
Arsenal should drop ‘very overrated’ Ben White at centre-half in favour of returning loan star William Saliba, claims Gabriel Agbonlahor.
The England international arrived at the Emirates from Brighton in a deal worth £50million last summer and has since forged a partnership with Gabriel at the heart of Mikel Arteta’s defence.
Meanwhile, Saliba enjoyed a fruitful season-long loan spell at Marseille, helping the French club claim a second-place finish in Ligue 1 behind Paris Saint-Germain.
‘Ben White is very overrated’: Gabby Agbonlahor thinks he should be axed for William Saliba
The French defender won the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award whilst on loan at Marseille
The 21-year-old defender also won the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award during his time in the south of France and has since returned to Arsenal in a bid to fight for Arteta’s favour.
Agbonlahor was impressed by Saliba’s speed and decision-making whilst at Marseille
Saliba is yet to play a single minute in a Gunners shirt since his £27m arrival from Saint-Etienne in 2019.
Ex-Aston Villa hitman Agbonlahor believes the French defender should usurp White’s spot in the Arsenal back line ahead of yet another top four assault next season.
After just missing out on a Champions League place to rivals Tottenham, the Gunners finished last season with 48 goals conceded, eight more than they let in during the 2020-21 campaign.
‘I’ve watched Saliba a few times and he’s got that speed that you like to see in a centre-half, and he’s very good at making the right decision at the right time,’ the 35-year-old told Football Insider.
‘Arsenal’s defence is nowhere near good enough to get top-four. For me, Ben White is very overrated, I watched him against Newcastle towards the end of the season and he was absolutely dreadful.
‘He lacks pace, he lacks aggression. Yes, he’s good on the ball but he’s not a defensive midfielder, he’s a centre-half.
Boss Mikel Arteta will use pre-season to determine which defender should partner Gabriel
‘Arsenal need two centre-halves who are no nonsense and have both got speed. For me, Gabriel and Saliba would be my starters next season.
‘With Ben White, I think Brighton are laughing at getting the fee they got for him because he’s not good enough.
‘It’s a shame that Arsenal have wasted a lot of money again. It was the same with Pepe. Ben White was not needed and Saliba should start ahead of him.’