Ben White has been a revelation since joining Leeds United on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion in the summer.
The 22-year-old was bought in as the replacement to Pontus Jansson who joined Brentford in July.
Some Leeds fans may have been forgiven at the time to being cautious to this news, after all, White had never played Championship football before and spent last season on loan at League One Peterborough United.
However, since his debut in the 3-1 opening day victory at Bristol City, White has gone from strength to strength and won the PFA Championship player of the month for August.
The Argus, the local paper that covers Brighton and Hove Albion, reported on Tuesday that the Seagulls have no intention of selling White, who would no doubt come under bid from the Yorkshire club if Leeds were promoted.
In a week where European Champions Liverpool were reported to be interested in the 22-year-old, Brighton have reaffirmed their tough stance on White’s future.
Brighton boss Graham Potter told The Argus: “Ben White has a great opportunity to work with Bielsa at Leeds in the Championship in front of a big, hostile crowd so good for him.”
Whilst Albion seem set in their desire to keep White at the AMEX Stadium, the Whites will undoubtedly try and bring the defender back to West Yorkshire next summer.
Here are three reasons why United must test Brighton’s resolve as they look to bring White back to Elland Road…
Bielsa’s style of play
Marcelo Bielsa has transformed Leeds United’s style of play into one of the most talked about in England, with an emphasis on playing out from the back and pushing up the pitch as quickly as possible.
White has fit comfortably into this style and if United were to win promotion to the Premier League would be a huge asset to the Whites.
It is likely that if United do get promoted Bielsa would stay to oversee their first campaign back in the top flight and it is well documented the Argentine favours continuity.
White would have a full season under his belt and would be more than up to speed with Bielsa’s training methods and game plans which he would undoubtedly stick with in the Premier League.
United testing Brighton and potentially re-signing White would save Bielsa bringing in a new centre-half to bring up to speed with his methods, and would be able to focus more on developing players such as White to deal with the challenge of Premier League football.
At a club where consistency has been rare since Premier League relegation in 2004, United fans have enjoyed a consistent side during Marcelo Bielsa’s reign.
White is proving alongside a handful of players, he too is performing consistently week in week out for United and fans can see they have a raw, natural talent on their hands.
The Brighton loanee has excited United fans with his calm head and ability to gracefully steer the team out of danger. At the age of 22 he has already formed a reliable partnership with the more experienced Liam Cooper.
Regardless of the division United will be playing in next season, Leeds will yearn for that consistency at the back and the re-signing of White would provide just that.
Although it would be tough for United to re-sign White if they were to stay in the Championship it would be as much as a test for the United owners as it is for Brighton next summer.
It would signal intent
White is quickly becoming hot property after impressing in United’s first 11 games. The Liverpool link could suggest that some of the bigger sides in the Premier League could be keeping tabs on the defender.
United testing Brighton’s stance and potentially re-signing the defender would prove a big statement of intent regardless of the division the Whites may find themselves in.
Looking to the future, United could end up with a potential England star on their hands and may even command a higher transfer fee from one of the bigger clubs after a few seasons.
Intent would be single both on the field and financially if United were to go back in for White in summer 2020.