Newport County boss Michael Flynn has heaped praise on Leeds United centre-back Ben White, describing him as “unbelievable” and “a very intelligent footballer”.
White spent the 2017/18 season under Flynn while on loan at Newport, joining at the age of just 19 and making 51 appearances for the League Two side.
The 21-year-old arrived at Elland Road this summer on a season-long loan from Brighton and has been given the difficult task of replacing Pontus Jansson at centre-back.
The Englishman has made an excellent start to life in West Yorkshire and has looked assured at the heart of the Whites defence.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Flynn indicated that he was not surprised by how well White had settled.
He said: “I definitely wasn’t surprised with how well he did against Bristol City and how he handled the occasion of his Leeds debut.
“He was unbelievable. Such a mature Championship debut. He took everything in his stride.”
Flynn added: “He can handle himself physically, he can handle himself technically.
“Every time he chose the right decision with things like whether or not to be on time, extra training and learning.
“If he made a mistake he’d be the first one to hold his hands up and try not to do it again. He’s a very intelligent footballer.”
The Newport boss also suggested that he was an enjoyable player to have in the squad.
He said: “He has got stacks of ability, very level headed, no ego, he was a joy to work with day in and day out.
“He was marvelous for us, he had an opportunity to leave us in January but he didn’t want to, he wanted to continue his learning.
“He’s a very loyal boy because he thought we gave him his chance, his debut in the league and he wanted to repay us.”
Flynn’s comments suggest that White’s high-quality performances on the pitch are likely to be matched by a positive attitude off it.
It was a high-risk move replacing Jansson with an untested 21-year-old but the early indications are that it may have been a masterstroke.
He followed up an excellent debut against Bristol City with two assured performances against Nottingham Forest and Salford City and looks set to be a mainstay in the Leeds side this season.
The real test now is to consistently hold that level of performance throughout the 2019/20 campaign.