Championship

Unsung Hero: Leeds’ Ben White dominant in the air and composed on the ball in Preston draw

Unsung Hero: Leeds’ Ben White dominant in the air and composed on the ball in Preston draw

Leeds had to settle for a point in last night’s Championship clash away to Preston and were ultimately grateful for a late equaliser from Eddie Nketiah.

Marcelo Bielsa’s team had more than twice as many shots as the home side (22 to 10) and had 62.9% of the possession, but squandered several opportunities before Tom Barkhuizen opened the scoring with just over 15 minutes to go.

Nketiah’s 87th-minute header ensured that the spoils would be shared, although Leeds still had to survive a last-gasp scare when Brad Potts’ glancing header whistled narrowly wide. [via Sky Sports]

The Whites ended the night in second place in the Championship, two points adrift of West Brom, although a win for Nottingham Forest over Hull would see them leapfrog Leeds in the automatic promotion places.

While it was Arsenal loanee Nketiah whose intervention rescued a point for Leeds, another player on loan from a Premier League club had a solid game at the other end of the pitch.

Centre-back Ben White, who has been loaned out by Brighton, was a rock at the back for Leeds, his seven successful aerial duels the most of anyone in Bielsa’s line-up at Deepdale. The 20-year-old also made three clearances and two interceptions on the night, while recording a 69.4% passing success rate with 25 successful passes out of 36. [via WhoScored]

The youngster’s contribution did not go unnoticed by some reporters. Jack Robshaw of Through It All Together gave him a seven rating and said that he was “his usual self, assured on the ball and never in danger first half”, along with noting that he “made an important stretching clearance when Preston almost got in behind”.

Beren Cross of Leeds Live said that he was “again so composed and unflustered by anything”, adding that he “knows exactly when to act and when to be patient as the opposition attacks”.

In the Yorkshire Evening Post, Graham Smyth awarding him a rating of eight, saying that he was “calm on the ball” and that his “really good first half performance included one perfectly timed, vital challenge”.

Football Insider recently reported that White was the subject of interest from Liverpool scouts who were “blown away” by his progression at Elland Road, and more displays like this from the young centre-back could well see such Premier League interest intensify.

Leeds fans, were you impressed by young White’s performance at Preston? Have your say by commenting below!

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