Marcelo Bielsa has revealed to Leeds Live that Victor Orta had wanted to bring Ben White to Leeds United last summer.
The 21-year-old versatile defender has joined the Whites on a season-long loan deal from Brighton and Hove Albion and was in the starting XI for their opening Championship match against Bristol City last weekend (Transfermarkt).
And, as quoted by Leeds Live, Bielsa revealed that Orta is pleased to have finally been able to bring one of his targets to Elland Road.
“In the previous season, Orta insisted on White coming here. We have other players to play in this position back then,” he said.
“Now, Victor is pleased the player arrived. This is why for some players I trust other recommendations.”
White already looks to be a promising addition to the Leeds set up this season as his performance against Bristol City came in for some glowing reviews.
Leeds Live were raving about his display as they gave him an exceptional eight out of ten, stating: “Very assured and confident on the ball. If this is an example of what United can expect week in, week out from their centre-backs, they will be very happy. Clear to see why Marcelo Bielsa wanted him, despite the lack of exposure previously in his career. Good in the air and on the deck.”
According to the data collected by WhoScored, White managed one tackle and one interception in the match at Ashton Gate, making a further three clearances and seemingly creating a solid partnership at the back with Liam Cooper.
With Gaetano Berardi set to battle him for a place in Bielsa’s starting centre-back pairing, it would appear as though the 21-year-old has started life extremely well and will look to go from strength-to-strength.
As noted by Transfermarkt, White also offers Leeds the versatility and usefulness of being able to play as a right-back as well, which could come in handy for the Whites as Luke Ayling is prone to injury – he missed 30 games in 2018 and is currently on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on an ankle problem (club’s official website).
White certainly appears to have started life at Leeds in impressive fashion and could potentially play a key role for the club as the season progresses.
The 21-year-old appears to be backing up why Orta wanted to bring him to the club and, perhaps, if he were in the squad last season, they may have secured promotion to the Premier League.
Indeed, it is still early days at Elland Road, but if he can perform at the level that he did against Bristol City, then he could be a talent worth keeping a close eye on over the next few months.
Leeds fans, what did you make of White’s debut performance for the club last weekend? Let us know your thoughts by sharing them below in the comments section!
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