This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Player View’ series, this content strand is where we put ourselves in the shoes of a given player, and offer an opinion-based outlook on the situation at hand…
On-loan Leeds United centre-back Ben White has been very impressive this season and has attracted the interest of Premier League heavyweights Liverpool and Manchester United.
White signed for Leeds United in the summer with little expectation on his shoulders after being seen as a somewhat underwhelming ‘replacement’ for the departed Swedish international Pontus Jansson, who has moved to play-off hopefuls Brentford.
Over the summer there had been a huge degree of expectation that Leeds would put their play-off heartbreak behind them to bounce back and blitz the league this season. While they haven’t exactly ripped the league apart this season so far, they have been performing just as well as last campaign, if not better.
One key contributor to that is Brighton centre-back Ben White. Upon signing for West Yorkshire club, White has been a tremendous addition, helping Leeds to boast the best defence in the league and one of the best in the country.
In the league this season, Leeds have conceded just nine goals and kept an exceptional eight clean sheets, with White being an ever-present throughout.
🔝 Most interceptions in the top four tiers of English football so far this season?
— Brighton & Hove Albion ⚽️ (@OfficialBHAFC) November 20, 2019
What has been particularly impressive with White’s start to life at Leeds is the confidence he has shown to play how he does in a high-pressure season. He has shown the confidence to play very expansively in possession to help start and create Leeds attacks this season, something Marcelo Bielsa will be eager to coach into him.
White will know that he still has much to improve on in football and at just 22-years-old, he has time on his side currently. This loan at Leeds presents him with his first opportunity of pressure at what seems like a top club with Leeds selling out every week in the pursuit and expectation of Premier League football.
White’s tremendous outings at centre-back have unsurprisingly led to interest from top-flight clubs as they look to poach a top talent from Brighton. The Mirror has reported that Premier League arch-rivals Liverpool and Manchester United are set to battle it out over White’s signature once his loan finishes at Elland Road.
It seems increasingly unlikely that Brighton will be able to hold onto White after next summer with the queue of clubs growing to sign him buy the week. Seagulls’ boss Graham Potter has since moved to quash the speculation of a move, solely focusing on the fact that he is a Brighton player at present and is enjoying his stint at Leeds United.
Ben White must follow this same sentiment at the moment, with his loan spell seeming certain to keep him at Elland Road until the summer, to then see where his future lies, whether that be with Brighton, Leeds, or elsewhere.
If the defender’s judgement becomes clouded by the ongoing speculation of a big-money move, he could see his performances drop at Leeds and face scuppering the chance that he had to make it to the top.
Can you name Leeds’ entire starting XI for their last game in the Premier League? Try out our quiz!
Leeds have offered White a chance to develop exponentially this season as he shows signs of improvement with every passing week, and it would be naive from the youngster to sacrifice this opportunity in the pursuit of a top-six move early in his career.
White will be confident that he can make it at that level, but for now, his focus must be solely on Leeds’ clamour for promotion from the second tier, and then in the summer he can consider where his future lies.