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…
The new Championship season is a week away with Leeds United commencing their quest for an automatic promotion place with a testing away trip to Ashton Gate to face Bristol City, a side they did the double over last season in the league.
Of the many selection decisions facing Whites manager Marcelo Bielsa, the decision whether to start with 21-year-old loan defender Ben White will be fairly high on his list.
White has joined from Brighton on a season-long loan and though he has not appeared for the Seagulls he has enjoyed successful loan-spells at both Newport County and Peterborough United over the last few seasons.
So do you think White will start for Leeds against Bristol City next weekend?
“I don’t think they have much choice to be honest.
“I’m surprised that Leeds haven’t signed another centre-back, especially after Pontus Jansson left the club in favour of a move to Brentford.
“White is a good player, but he doesn’t have any experience of playing in the Championship which will be a slight concern for Leeds supporters.
“But Marcelo Bielsa could be tempted to hand him a start for their opening game of the season against Bristol City ahead of Gaetano Berardi.
“White needs to be given a start at some stage, and I think he would learn a lot from playing alongside Liam Cooper, who is vastly experienced at this level.
“He wouldn’t have been signed on loan to sit on the bench, so expect to see him start this one.
“It would be a risk at first, but if he settles into life at Elland Road, then it’ll certainly pay off.”
“I think Bielsa rates White highly, so I see no reason why he won’t start against the Robins next weekend.
“Bielsa is determined to implement a style of play that sees his side play out from the back, and I think White is more capable at this than Berardi who is the other option.
“It remains to be seen how the Leeds side manages with White stepping in for the departing Jansson. I can see White being better in possession than Jansson, but he may struggle when commanding the box in the same way the Swede did last term.
“But White is a highly regarded defender, and I feel almost certain that Bielsa will give him a solid chance to cement his place in the side at the start of the season.”
“No, i’d be surprised to see him start.
“White is a decent young player and I think Bielsa sees him as a potential replacement for Pontus Jansson, hence there’s been no real effort to get in another defender.
“However, I think we’ll be looking at Liam Cooper and Gaetano Berardi at the heart of defence next weekend as they are the two most senior options to go in there.
“Both started last season well alongside one another and Bielsa will hope that they can rekindle that form here.”