Leeds United captain Liam Cooper says he is hopeful that his central defensive partner Ben White will still be at the club next season.
White joined Leeds on a season-long loan from Brighton back in the summer transfer window, and has enjoyed a remarkable campaign at Elland Road.
The 22-year-old has been an ever-present for Leeds in the Championship this season, forming a solid partnership with Cooper at the heart of his side’s defence, helping them top spot in the current second-tier standings.
But with his loan deal set to expire in just a matter of months, and Premier League leaders Liverpool reportedly interested in him, it seems White’s future is still to be decided, although Cooper perhaps not surprisingly is hopeful that it lies at Elland Road.
Speaking about White’s season so far, the Cooper told Sky Sports: “He plays with such an old head on his shoulders and a lad of his age to have done what he has done this season – he’s not missed a game in his first season in the Championship.
“To reach the levels he consistently has done in every single game has been unbelievable. I think the lads will vouch for me here – off the pitch he is thick and thieves but he goes onto that pitch, you would never know that.
“He’s such an intelligent defender and I think he is going to go on to have an unbelievable career – hopefully, that can be with Leeds United.”
Explaining just how well White has settled into life at Leeds, Cooper went on to add: “He lives near York now – he loves it up here and took to the group straight away. We’ve got a young group and it was easy for him to settle in.
“He has been unbelievable and I think he has proved to everyone who did doubt him that he can definitely do it at this level and probably will at the highest level as well.”
I don’t think these comments from Cooper are much of a surprise really.
White has been a key figure in helping Leeds get to where they are this season, so you feel everyone associated with the club is going to want to see him back at Elland Road this season.
You feel that will be the case for Cooper especially, who may not want to have to adapt to a new central defensive partner for the third-straight season following the departure of Pontus Jansson last summer, particularly because the would mean he has lost such a reliable and effective teammate in White.