Ian Harte believes that Ben White’s future lies away from Leeds United, with the former Elland Road full-back citing how Brighton and Hove Albion would more than benefit from the 22-year-old’s services.
Leeds took on the task of nurturing White’s talent back in the summer, with the defender ever-present in Marcelo Bielsa’s side this season, featuring in every minute of the Championship campaign.
There’s an eagerness at Elland Road for Leeds to make White’s loan move permanent, but as The Athletic note, Liverpool and Manchester City are amongst the Premier League elite keeping tabs on the Brighton loanee, with his parent-club equally keen to retain him.
This week Football League World exclusively caught up with Ian Harte, who admitted it was tough to see Leeds re-signing White, who would be so useful to Brighton.
The Irishman said: “Every Leeds fan would love to get him back, but Brighton are the club that own him at the moment and he’s under contract with them. I think them (Brighton) bringing him back will only strengthen their team in the Premier League.
“The only way that he would leave Brighton is if someone is going to come in and spend £20-25m, otherwise Brighton are going to end up keeping him.
“I can’t see Leeds getting him back if I’m being honest. A player of his quality, he would help the current Brighton team.”
In 37 games in the Championship this season, White has one assist to his name, but, more importantly, has been central to on of the Championship’s top defences.
Additionally, the 22-year-old has showed his versatility by stepping into midfield in the place of Kalvin Phillips on occasion.