Brighton & Hove Albion are keen to see Ben White take up a first-team role at the Amex Stadium once his loan spell with Leeds United comes to an end, according to Football Insider.
The Poole-born centre-back joined the Whites on a one-season deal in the summer, and has been a regular fixture of Marcelo Bielsa’s first-team at Elland Road throughout the Championship campaign thus far.
White joined Leeds on loan for the term having never featured in a division higher than the third-tier, following temporary spells with Newport County and Peterborough United.
The 21-year-old’s only senior appearances for Brighton also came in the EFL Cup against lower-tier opposition, with single outings against Colchester United and Oxford United during the early rounds of the 2016/17 edition of the tournament (TransferMarkt).
His regular place in Bielsa’s starting line-up has served as a rapid rise to prominence for the youngster, and his development under the Argentine head coach has left Brighton ‘staggered’, according to information Football Insider allege a source from within the Premier League outfit has told them.
Brighton have long held White in high regard at the Amex Stadium, and saw fit to reject Leeds’ request for an option-to-buy to be included in their temporary agreement.
They did not expect the defender to make the step up from League One to the Championship with such relative ease, however, and now value the 5 ft 9 central defender in excess of £20million.
The Seagulls believe White has the potential to thrive in the top-flight, and are keen to see their academy product lay claim to a role in their first-team next season, once he returns to the south coast from his temporary stint in West Yorkshire.
News that Brighton will look to introduce White into their first-team fold next summer will be a frustrating yet inevitable outcome for Leeds, as they have benefited vastly from the 21-year-old’s services, with Bielsa naming the youngster in his starting XI for each of his side’s 11 league games thus far.
The Whites would have anticipated the projected outcome when their request for an option to buy was refused, though, and are not short of time to monitor the situations of potential targets ahead of summer 2020 moves.
It would be fair to say that Bielsa and the team behind the scenes at Elland Road will have a hard time finding someone capable of replacing the August PFA Championship Player of the Month, but they managed to replace the formerly instrumental Pontus Jansson with White and will be looking to replicate that success next year.
Eddie Nketiah or Patrick Bamford?
Leeds fans, are there any defenders that you would like to see replace White next summer? Let us know who, if so, in the comments below…
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