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 manager Marcelo Bielsa took full advantage of the loan transfer market this summer, as he looked to add depth to his squad and find a formula to sustain an automatic promotion push this season.
One of his best loan signings of the season so far has been Brighton centre-back Ben White, who has stepped into the shoes of Pontus Jansson and formed a formidable partnership at the back with Liam Cooper.
White’s form this season is catching the eye though, with current Premier League leaders Liverpool considering a bid for the youngster, though his manager Graham Potter at his parent club Brighton, is determined to hold onto the 21-year-old.
So how should Leeds fans feel in light of Potter’s comments?
“Firstly they should be pleased that Potter seems keen on him staying at Leeds for the rest of the season as losing him in January could have been a possibility.
“As for the long-term, it’s no surprise that Brighton don’t want to sell and the Whites knew that from the summer.
“In an ideal world you bring in a loan player with a view to a permanent but sometimes that just doesn’t happen. However, that doesn’t mean this hasn’t been a good deal from Leeds’ part as he is key to their promotion push.
“So, if they can do a deal as a Premier League club next summer, great, if not, they have still had a quality defender on loan for a campaign.”
“Leeds fans will be feeling pretty disappointed that their loanee from Brighton is being linked with a move to the European Champions Liverpool for £20 million.
“White has put in some impressive performances for Leeds so far this season and now that Graham Potter has played down the chances of losing the young centre-back in the long term picture, Marcelo Bielsa’s side will be hoping that Brighton have the resolve to fend off Liverpool’s interest come January.
“Leeds fans have taken to the youngster from Brighton so far this campaign and they have been impressed with his performances at the heart of their defence as he has been a main part to Leeds sitting pretty at the top end of the Championship.
“Naturally, Leeds fans won’t want to see one of their star talents go in the January transfer window, and will be feeling slightly optimistic that they can keep the youngster for the duration of the loan spell as long as Brighton can hold on to one of their brightest talents.”
“Leeds United fans should be disappointed with Graham Potter playing down their chances of signing Ben White on a permanent basis, given the defender has made such a positive impact on the Whites’ defence since arriving in the summer from Brighton.
“White has stepped into fill the void left behind by Pontus Jansson moving to Brentford, and there would probably have been some reservations from Leeds fans about replacing such an influential player like Jansson, with a relatively inexperienced defender.
“Straight away, though, in Leeds’ opening day win at Bristol City White demonstrated his excellent reading of the game and natural composure in possession – and Marcelo Bielsa has given him the guidance and coaching to excel within his system.
“It is no surprise then that Brighton will not be wanting to lose such a young and talented defender on a permanent basis, and it would likely take a large offer to tempt the Premier club into selling him – and that is something that at the moment unless the ownership changes Leeds would not be able to do.”