Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has moved away from using a specialist right-back at the Emirates, instead preferring Ben White in the role. Before he joined the Gunners, White had only played 10 games on the right of a four, but he’s now featured in that position 65 times in the past three seasons. Only three of his 25 appearances so far this term have come as a centre-back, which is his primary trade.
White’s limited attacking output – one goal and one assist in all competitions, shouldn’t be a surprise given his positional background, but Arteta doesn’t really have a compelling alternative with a markedly different profile. Takehiro Tomiyasu doesn’t have a clearly established role, instead operating across the backline as and when needed, while the veteran Cedric has only played 65 minutes and two games this term.
One way for the Gunners to evolve, then, may to be recruit a more natural right-back who’s in a position to challenge for starts. One such candidate, Galatasaray’s Sacha Boey, claims that his club held “meetings” with the Premier League title-chasers over a possible transfer last summer, but their “interest” never escalated into an official offer. That, though, could soon change.
Arsenal in touch over Boey
According to Turkish outlet Sabah (via Sport Witness), Arsenal appear to be in fresh “hot contact” over Boey. Galatasaray are now “open to offers” for a player they value at €20m, the equivalent of about £17m, in what is a boost for those at the Emirates.
Encouragingly for Arteta, Galatasaray already have a replacement lined up – they plan to recall Leo Dubois from his loan at Basaksehir if they lose Boey this month, which means one potential complication has already been overcome.
Boey has already shone in the Champions League
Having come through the youth ranks at French club Rennes, Boey left to join the Super Lig club in 2021. Given that he’s played every single minute for which he’s been available across all competitions – 29 games in total – it’s fair to say that he’s one of Okan Buruk’s most important players.
When you look into the numbers around the 23-year-old, you see that he’s an impressively well-rounded full-back. Last year, he won the fifth-most tackles of any player in the Turkish top flight (55) and this year, he’s in the top 10 for interceptions (29). He can clearly hold his own one-on-one and he also reads the game well.
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Journalist Zach Lowy has billed him as an “incredible revelation” this season and he’s shone on the European platform with Galatasaray, who beat Manchester United to third place in their Champions League group. Among defenders, PSG’s Achraf Hakimi (27) and Young Boys’ Ulisses Garcia (25) recorded more shot-creating actions than Boey (22) in the group stages, and only Hakimi (15), Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier (13), Feyenoord’s Quilindschy Hartman (11) and Porto’s Joao Mario (10) played more passes into the box than his nine.
Predictably, Arsenal aren’t the only team interested, with Bayern Munich also shortlisting him and Boey himself open to the move. The Gunners, then, may need to move quickly, or risk losing out.