Brighton might not get to enjoy the services of Ben White next season – that’s if a confident claim from Leeds winger Ian Poveda is to be believed.
The Seagulls centre-back was on loan at Elland Road during the 2019/20 campaign, playing every single minute of their Championship-winning season, and had previously hinted that he would be open to the idea of remaining with the Yorkshire outfit.
As Marcelo Bielsa’s squad celebrated lifting the Championship trophy in midweek, the 20-year-old winger took to his Instagram profile to record a live video in which he jubilantly exclaimed: “Yeah, Ben White, we’re going to sign him up – we’re going to sign up everyone.” [via Sussex Live]
As things stand, White is due to return to Brighton following his season-long loan spell with Leeds, although the 22-year-old is unlikely to be short of suitors if he fancies a move away from the Amex Stadium – Football Insider claimed that the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City have all shown an interest in the centre-back.
Whether he will follow Poveda’s celebratory claim of spending another season at Elland Road is very much debatable – Sussex Live reporter Tom Coleman is confident that White will see a pathway to breaking into the first team at Brighton, while The Athletic’s Leeds writer Phil Hay tweeted [via @PhilHay_] that it would be “difficult” for the newly-promoted club to take him back again next season as they are likelier to take up a permanent option for Jack Harrison.
Will Ben White be a Brighton player next season?
Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster and Shane Duffy all stand in the way of White should he choose to stay at Brighton and fight for his place. However, with the likes of Aaron Connolly, Tariq Lamptey and Alexis Mac Allister all breaking into the first team this season, the 22-year-old could be encouraged by such developments, as Graham Potter has demonstrated a willingness to trust in young talents at the Amex Stadium.
White certainly couldn’t have done much more to prove his case to the Seagulls manager as an ever-present for Leeds as they finally ended their 16-year wait to get back into the Premier League, being a permanent fixture of the Championship’s best defence this season (just 35 goals conceded).
The relief for Brighton fans is that Poveda’s comments were made amid the hysteria of promotion celebrations and therefore could be regarded as an excitable claim rather than a knowledge-based statement of intent.
The worry for the Amex faithful is that the topic of White’s future is likely to remain the subject of plentiful discussion for the foreseeable future, with Leeds’ cause helped by them now being able to offer Premier League football.
Brighton fans, where do you think White will end up playing his football next season? Comment below with your views!
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