Ben White was playing in the Championship only two years ago. Now, the Brighton defender has become the latest name to join the exclusive club of the most expensive English footballers of all-time.
The 23-year-old has signed a long-term contract with the Gunners after they agreed a £50million transfer fee with the South Coast outfit.
It will resemble a record sale for the Seagulls and the third-most expensive acquisition in Arsenal ’s history behind Nicolas Pepe (£72m) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£55m).
English footballers have commanded extortionate fees in recent years, which on occasion reflect the ridiculous sums that are thrown about in football.
White, who was recently called up to England’s Euro 2020 squad after a stellar season for Graham Potter’s side, has opted to make the move to the north London outfit.
But as the history books show, these high-profile switches do not always work out as well as first hoped and can provide a warning to clubs who are prepared to shell out to bring in England’s next star.
Here is a round-up the 10 most expensive Premier League transfers involving English players of all-time…
- Danny Drinkwater — Leicester to Chelsea, £35m, 2017
Chelsea fans will need no reminding that their summer transfer business in 2017 is still haunting them four years later.
The signing of Drinkwater, who had helped Leicester clinch their stunning title success in 2015-16, appeared to be a shrewd move on paper. But the midfielder struggled to adapt to life in west London and only played a bit-part role under Antonio Conte.
He was frozen out of the squad by Maurizio Sarri and then Frank Lampard, making only 23 appearances in all competitions since his move to Stamford Bridge.
Desperate to revive his career, the former England international headed to Aston Villa and Burnley but failed to make an impression. He was last seen on loan at Turkish outfit Kasimpasa and the club are eager to offload the 31-year-old this summer.
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain — Arsenal to Liverpool, £35m, 2017
It was the same old story for Arsenal fans: player runs down contract, club forced into selling to rivals, player goes on to experience success at said rivals.
They were resigned to losing Oxlade-Chamberlain after the England midfielder refused to pen a new deal and at that point, Arsene Wenger was prepared to sell.
What helped drive up the fee was Chelsea’s interest, but ultimately Liverpool ’s revolution under Jurgen Klopp was a more appealing option for the Southampton trainee.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was a regular feature for the Reds before suffering an cruciate knee ligament injury in 2018. He spent a year on the sidelines and endured several setbacks before making his return last season.
However, the 28-year-old is merely a peripheral figure at Anfield these days and speculation persists he could be sold to make way for new recruits in the summer transfer window.
- John Stones — Everton to Manchester City, £47.5m, 2016
Where Chelsea had failed, Pep Guardiola succeeded. Just a year after Everton had repeatedly turned down bids for their star centre-back, they sold Stones to Man City for a club-record fee.
It hasn’t been a straightforward journey for the Yorkshireman, however. Frozen out of the team and struggling for fitness, Stones faced an uncertain future only 18 months ago.
But the centre-back has forced his way back into Guardiola’s plans, forging an impenetrable partnership with Ruben Dias as City’s rock-solid defence pushed them towards a third league title in four years in 2020-21.
After impressing again with England at Euro 2020, he could be one of the players to look out for next season as he approaches his peak years at 28.
- Aaron Wan-Bissaka — Crystal Palace to Manchester United, £49m, 2019
It was viewed as something of a gamble when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer moved to snap up Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace.
On the back of a fine breakthrough season with the Eagles, Wan-Bissaka was lacking experience. But Man United needed quality at right-back and Solskjaer was enamoured with his tireless efforts down the right flank.
The South London-born full-back has gone from strength to strengthen at Old Trafford, clocking up 100 appearances in his two seasons in Manchester.
With two goals and four assists in his 34 league matches last season, he showed he can play a key role in United’s title challenge in 2021-22.
- Kyle Walker — Tottenham to Manchester City, £49m, 2017
A player blessed with explosive pace and an endless tank of stamina, Walker became hot property after impressing with Tottenham.
Still, it was a surprise to see Man City lay down a record fee for an English defender after spending £108m on Benjamin Mendy and Aymeric Laporte. But Guardiola wanted a whole new defence after watching his side leak goals in his debut campaign in 2016-17.
Walker has grown to become a mainstay in the City backline, with 184 appearances across his four seasons at the Etihad Stadium and kept his place despite the subsequent arrival of Joao Cancelo.
Even at 31, he remains one of the quickest players in the division — and Man City will continue to benefit from his creative exploits alongside his blistering pace for years to come.
- Ben White — Brighton to Arsenal, £50m, 2021
English players are often associated with a premium price tag as Arsenal have discovered after finally clinching the signing of Ben White from Brighton.
The versatile defender, who can also operate as a holding midfield and is capable of playing at right-back, was identified as Mikel Arteta’s top target earlier this season after impressing against the Gunners.
He will join the club’s growing contingent of young English footballers, with Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka and Rob Holding in particular thriving under Arteta.
Some have argued that Arsenal are taking a gamble by making a huge investment in a player who is relatively unproven at the top level, with only one season of Premier League experience under his belt.
But White has been earmarked as a player with high potential and signing players of his calibre could help the Gunners return to the summit after some disappointing domestic campaigns of late.
- Ben Chilwell — Leicester to Chelsea, £50m, 2020
Chelsea had searched far and wide for a player to replace Ashley Cole but to no avail. Filipe Luis left, Baba Rahman flopped and Emerson has struggled for consistency.
But in Chilwell, it looks like the Blues have their man for the left-back spot. Arriving as part of the Blues’ £220m summer splurge in 2020, the England international has taken his game to another level with the Blues.
Some Leicester fans questioned his reasons for leaving, but Chilwell’s Champions League medal has quickly put that argument to bed. He has had to earn his place in the side after Frank Lampard’s departure, but Thomas Tuchel views him as a key cog in his 3-4-3 setup.
The fact you can expect him to be on the Chelsea team sheet for the next five years proves he was worth the investment.
- Raheem Sterling — Liverpool to Manchester City, £50m, 2015
A controversial move, but one that Sterling will feel has been justified. Having graduated from Liverpool’s academy, he opted to leave for City the age of 20.
In his six years at the Etihad Stadium, the 26-year-old has scored 114 goals in 292 appearances and has gone on to become one of the world’s most consistent attackers.
Sterling came under-fire from his critics after bagging only 14 goals in 2020-21, but his superb performances for England at Euro 2020 earned him some well-deserved acclaim.
It remains to be seen whether Guardiola will guarantee him a place in his XI next season amid reports of a move for Harry Kane and Jack Grealish, but Sterling will believe he has done enough to warrant a starting spot.
- Jadon Sancho — Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United, £73m, 2021
One of the most protracted transfer sagas in recent memory came to a satisfying conclusion for Man United supporters after the club finally agreed a deal with Dortmund to sign Sancho this summer.
The 21-year-old heads back to England after four years in Germany, having opted to head to the Bundesliga when he left Man City.
Sancho has been hailed as a generational talent and the numbers back up such praise, with the winger finding the net 50 times in his 137 appearances for the Schwarzgelben.
The Red Devils are banking on Sancho to bring his creative talents to the Premier League as they mount a title assault on Man City — and it is widely believed the forward could be the deciding factor in their quest for glory.
- Harry Maguire — Leicester City to Manchester United, £80m, 2019
United are never afraid to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to signing English centre-backs. But the world-record £80m fee they paid to sign Maguire raised more than a few eyebrows.
Maguire is undoubtedly a quality operator at the back and his aerial presence, combined with his excellent ball-carrying skills, represent what managers want in a modern defender.
But critics felt that United were held to ransom by Leicester and paid over the odds. Still, Maguire is now the club captain and he has relished leading from the back.
His excellent displays have earned him rave reviews from the likes of Rio Ferdinand, who labelled the centre-back as a “man mountain” after helping Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions reach the Euro 2020 final.
If Man City have Dias and Liverpool can look forward to Virgil van Dijk returning, United can claim to having a star performer — and one of the world’s best — in Maguire at the back too.
PHOTOS: Buhari receives no. 10 Jersey as FIFA President, Gianni Infantino visits Aso Rock
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday received the FIFA President, Mr Gianni Infantino, and CAF President Dr Patrice Motsepe in State House, Abuja.
During the courtesy visit, the FIFA president presented a number 10 jersey and a football to President Buhari.
The No. 10 jersey is regarded as an iconic number in football and is usually worn by players believed to be skillful and have a great impact on a team.
According to a Facebook post by Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, Sports Minister, Sunday Dare was also in attendance during the presentation.
FIFA Rankings: Nigeria maintain position as Belgium, Brazil, England occupy top 10 [Full list]
Nigeria’s Super Eagles maintained 34th position in the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola world ranking that was released on Thursday.
The ranking was published on the world football governing body’s official website.
In Africa, Nigeria maintains its number five position.
Senegal is Africa’s highest-ranked team as they are in 20th place, Tunisia are in 25th, while Algeria are 30th and Morocco in 33rd position.
Guinea-Bissau moved up as they climbed to 105th, while Egypt and Sudan, dropped to 48th and 127th spots respectively.
Liberia rose to 144th, Cape Verde remained at 77th and the Central African Republic dropped to 124th.
Meanwhile, the top ten countries in the world are Belgium, Brazil, England, France, Italy, Argentina, Portugal, Spain, Mexico and Denmark.
The next FIFA world ranking will be released on 21 October, 2021
Liverpool 3-2 AC Milan: Jordan Henderson’s stunner seals comeback win
Liverpool opened their Champions League campaign with an instant classic as Jordan Henderson’s stunning strike secured three points against AC Milan.
It was a memorable night at Anfield as the Reds sealed a 3-2 comeback victory over the Italians.
Trent Alexander-Arnold helped fire the Reds in front as his deflected effort, which went down as a Fikayo Tomori own goal, gave them a well-deserved lead.
But after Mohamed Salah failed to convert a spot-kick to double their advantage, the Serie A side were somehow in the lead at halftime after a quickfire double from Ante Rebic and Brahim Diaz.
Salah then redeemed himself by bringing the hosts level just after the break, before Henderson’s screamer put the Reds back on top to seal the win.
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