This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Leeds United fans will certainly be enjoying the latest international break more, after the YEP reported that loanee defender Ben White will be staying at Elland Road past the January transfer window.
Sources have told the YEP that the only way Brighton could have brought White back to the AMEX Stadium in the new year was if he failed to play a certain percentage of Leeds’ games, and with the 22-year-old only missing 45 minutes of action all season, it would look like he is going nowhere.
So how big a boost is this news for Leeds United?
“Absolutely huge –a massive boost to their promotion hopes.
“White has been phenomenal for Leeds this season, starting every Championship game and helping them to concede the fewest goals and keep the most clean sheets in the division.
“I had my concerns at the start of the season but the 22-year-old’s arrival has looked a masterstroke so far.
“He is brilliant defensively and always looks composed but what sets him out is his ball-playing and distribution skills–for me, there isn’t a better defender in the league.
“Losing him in January would’ve been a monumental blow, particularly with Liam Cooper’s injury issues, so this latest news is absolutely huge.”
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“This is without doubt a huge boost for Leeds as losing White in January could have had a significant impact on their season.
“Since joining the Whites on a season-long loan from Brighton & Hove Albion in the summer, the defender has established himself as a mainstay in Marcelo Bielsa’s starting eleven.
“As well as being a fantastic reader of the game in a defensive sense, White has illustrated that he is more than capable of picking out a pass when needed.
“With the 22-year-old set to stay at Elland Road for the remainder of the 2019/20 campaign, it would not be at all surprising if he ends up playing a key role in Leeds’ push for automatic promotion over the coming months.”
“This is a huge boost for Leeds, with the young centre half having been in fine form this season, since arriving at Elland Road during the summer window, his partnership with Liam Cooper is amongst the best in the league.
“White will not only continue his development but also it will allow Leeds to continue the momentum that they have built up over the opening few weeks of the campaign, as they look to go one step further than last season.
“Being still just 22, White is still very much learning his role this term, and it is Marcelo Bielsa’s patience with the youngsters that is clearly bringing the best out of him and his teammates.
“White will be hopeful of continuing his fine form this term, with a view to breaking into Brighton’s first team next season, with his spell in the Championship sure to be a great learning curve for the defender.”