Leeds United’s chances of striking a permanent deal for Brighton and Hove Albion loanee Ben White are looking ‘next to impossible’, according to Leeds Live.
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The local publication to the Whites has hailed the 22-year-old as an early Player of the Season contender, after he took up life in West Yorkshire with the skills of a Premier League and potential England player in the making, despite having no experience at Championship level.
White joined Leeds in the summer on a one-season loan deal with fans reeling from the loss of Pontus Jansson, who ended last term as a member of the PFA Championship Team of the Year for his commanding presence in Marcelo Bielsa’s backline.
The Seagulls product has since displayed a calm and assured level to his game to quickly show the Elland Road faithful that they had nothing to be concerned about heading into the campaign, with Leeds Live hailing the 22-year-old as a potential England player in the making for the talents he has displayed, even when without United captain Liam Cooper beside him.
Cooper has been forced to miss two fixtures so far this season through injury, whereas Poole-born White and goalkeeper Kiko Casilla are the only Leeds men to have featured for every minute available to them in the second-tier thus far (WhoScored).
White has also won possession the second-most times of any United player with his tackles (26), only behind influential midfielder Kalvin Phillips (47), and comes second to Copper (42) for aerial duel success (32), while ranking first for interceptions (36), clearances (40) and shots blocked (5).
Leeds hopes of potentially seeing White remain at Elland Road beyond his current temporary terms are not appearing strong, though, as Leeds Live suggest the chances of a permanent deal is now ‘next to impossible’.
Brighton had blocked United from striking a loan-to-buy arrangement in the summer (Football Insider) like that of their agreement with Manchester City for Jack Harrison, and are now alleged to have plans in place for White to take up a first-team role at the Amex next season after being ‘staggered’ by his progress.
It would be highly unlikely that Leeds do not want to keep White at Elland Road beyond his loan arrangement, as the young centre-half has been beyond impressive in his outings to date, especially having never played a league game above the third-tier before arriving in West Yorkshire this summer.
But his efforts will not have, and appear to not have, gone unnoticed on the south coast, where Brighton will be growing more and more convinced that White can form some part of their squad next term.
The Seagulls spent a club-record £20millon (BBC) on Bristol City’s Adam Webster this summer, who has displayed himself respectably under Graham Potter with the second-best interceptions per ninety minutes rate (2.2) and ranks close to established centre-backs Lewis Dunk (3.9) and Dan Burn (3.6) for clearances (3.6), per WhoScored data, so Brighton will know what they can get out of White’s year in the Championship should he return to the Amex.
Leeds fans, would you like to see your club try and keep White beyond his loan spell, and if so, how much is he worth? Let us know in the comments below…
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