Brighton have sent a firm message to the numerous Premier League clubs chasing Ben White that they will have to dig deep into their resources to sign him.
Football Insider reported that the Seagulls will not sell the defender for anything less than £35m this summer, with newly-crowned champions Liverpool, along with Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City and Leicester all reportedly showing an interest in the 22-year-old.
On the face of it, £35m seems like a staggering price for Brighton to demand for a player who has featured in only two games for them. Indeed, White hasn’t even been in the Seagulls’ this season, instead being sent on loan to Championship outfit Leeds.
However, the centre-back has been excellent for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, who currently sit top of their league. He has played every single minute of their 39 Championship matches thus far, with two assists to his name, and has also shown versatility in moving to a defensive midfield role on a handful of occasions (as per TransferMarkt).
The 22-year-old has won 2.8 headers and 1.8 tackles per game for Leeds, along with making 2.3 interceptions per game. His composure on the ball is illustrated in his match average of 55.7 passes, with a success rate of 85.1%. [via WhoScored]
White has evidently had a stellar season during his loan spell at Leeds, where he has thrived on regular game-time under Bielsa, and could now be much better prepared to challenge the likes of Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster and Shane Duffy for a place in Brighton’s starting XI. That is, of course, if he isn’t tempted into a move to one of several leading Premier League clubs who have European football to offer.
Should Brighton accept £35m for Ben White?
It would seem a shame for the Seagulls to flog the defender without ever properly giving him a chance to prove his worth at the Amex Stadium. However, if some of his suitors are prepared to stump up £35m+ for him, it could be very difficult for Brighton to turn down, with that fee likely to fund some decent signings. Also, they would still have three solid centre-backs in Duffy, Dunk and Webster if they do take the money for White.
Brighton fans, should the club keep White at all costs this summer? Have your say by commenting below!
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