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Why latest Ben White update could be a huge blow for Leeds United in the long run: Comment

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This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Comment’ series, this content strand is where the author of the article issues their personal opinion on the topic at hand….

Two games away from the Championship’s halfway point and with less than a month to go until the January transfer window, Leeds United’s promotion push looks in very good health. 

Marcelo Bielsa’s side are top of the table as things stand–one point clear of second-place West Bromwich Albion, who have a game in hand, and 11 points clear of third place.

The winter transfer window looks an intriguing prospect for the Yorkshire club. They added just Kiko Casilla to the first-team squad in last season’s window and saw their campaign unravel late on–slumping to third and subsequently losing to Derby County in the play-offs.

Victor Orta has, much to the concern of the Leeds fans no doubt, suggested it looks set to be a quiet window, while much of the talk up to this point has been about potential departures.

Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal) and Ben White (Brighton) both joined from Premier League clubs in the summer and both Nketiah and White have been linked to a potential January exit.

Seagulls boss Graham Potter told the Yorkshire Evening Post that there was no risk of White being recalled and added that he would stay at Elland Road until the end of the season before heading back to the south coast.

He said: “There is all sorts of talk, as we know but the reality of it is he is our player and he has got a future with us and we are looking forward to having him back at the right time and go from there. He is a player we like a lot.

“If you see how he plays, the attributes he has fit us. He is at Leeds now. He is on loan. You let that run and settle down at the end of the season. He is at Leeds and doing a good job there.”

On the surface, this looks like a huge boost for the Whites. The 22-year-old was given the difficult task of replacing centre-back Pontus Jansson in a move that at first looked a big risk and now looks an absolute masterstroke.

White has been calm and composed at the heart of the Leeds backline, starting every Championship game so far and helping the side to concede the fewest goals and keep the most clean sheets in the division.

The central defender was brought in for his ability on the ball and he has certainly justified that–he averages the second-most passes per game in the squad at a very impressive success rate of 84.7% (Whoscored).

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Keeping White will certainly be beneficial for Leeds’ play-off hopes but Potters’ comments look like a real blow to their chances of signing the defender on a permanent deal.

The Whites may have hoped that with a number of talented centre-backs already at the Amex–such as Lewis Dunk, Shane Duffy, Adam Webster, Matt Clarke–they could look to make the defender a full-time Leeds player in the summer.

Potter’s latest comments have made that seem very unlikely. Given White’s performances this season, it is understandable that the Brighton boss is passionate about the defender and his future with the Seagulls and you feel that fact is a huge blow to Leeds’ chance of signing the 22-year-old permanently.

White has fitted into this Leeds squad like the missing piece of a puzzle and while it seems he’ll be there until May, it now looks more likely that 2020 will be the end of his spell at Elland Road.


London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Why latest Ben White update could be a huge blow for Leeds United in the long run: Comment

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