Leeds United opinion: The Whites should sign Ben White on loan
According to Leeds Live, Leeds United are interested in signing centre-back Ben White on loan from Premier League side Brighton and Hove Albion, with the report claiming that Whites manager Marcelo Bielsa is keen to bolster his ranks with the addition of a few fresh faces ahead of the upcoming Championship season.
The 21-year-old defender didn’t feature even once for the Seagulls this past season and spent the second half of the campaign on loan at Peterborough United in League One.
White made a total of 16 appearances for Peterborough in all competitions, as Darren Ferguson’s side finished 7th in the third-tier and narrowly missed out on securing a promotion playoff spot.
Leeds are currently not crying out for reinforcements at the back but Leeds Live understands that the Whites might lose a few of their high-profile players after failing to secure a much-awaited promotion to the Premier League in the last term.
The same source claims that Swedish centre-back Pontus Jansson, who played a key role in Leeds’ surge for promotion in the previous campaign, has pledged his loyalty to the Yorkshire giants but the club might as well be forced to let him depart in order to balance the books.
Gaetano Berardi’s name has also come up amongst those linked with a move away from Elland Road this summer, meaning that the Whites could find themselves short of cover at the heart of the defence next term, should either of the aforementioned players head for the exit door. (h/t Leeds Live)
Coming back to Ben White, the talented youngster continues to be highly-rated in the youth ranks at the Amex Stadium but his lack of first-team opportunities has somewhat stalled his progress.
The Poole-born defender made his senior professional debut for Brighton in an EFL Cup game against Colchester United back in 2016 and went to feature against Oxford United in the following round. That, however, continues to be his last appearance in a Brighton shirt.
White spent the 2017-18 season on loan at Newport County in League Two before being shipped out to Peterborough in the third-tier in the second half of the previous campaign.
As things stand, the 21-year-old is yet to make his Premier League debut for the Seagulls and, in all honesty, he is unlikely to be a part of new manager Graham Potter’s plans heading into the 2019-20 season.
To put things into perspective, Ben White is still a relatively unknown entity in the Football League but Leeds should not hesitate to play a low-cost gamble on him this summer.
The talented youngster has been a regular for the Seagulls at the U-23 level in the Premier League 2, whilst also boasting considerable League One and League Two experience in his CV.
Frankly, Leeds signing the 21-year-old, who is also capable of slotting in at right-back, won’t be a huge gamble by any means, given that he would only arrive at Elland Road on loan.
It is still unclear whether Brighton would be willing to part ways with their academy graduate permanently in the future but his presence would provide Bielsa with some valuable cover in a key area for the pitch next term.
Liam Cooper, who was one of the standout figures for the West Yorkshire giants at the back last season, is very much expected to be a part of the club’s plans moving forward.
However, bolstering the defensive ranks with some fresh young blood could prove to be a piece of shrewd business for the Whites, especially with the futures of Jansson and Berardi still pretty much up in the air.
Aapo Halme is another young and promising defensive prospect at Elland Road and while the fans might not be too excited to hear about White, the acquisition of the 21-year-old should add a lot of depth to Bielsa’s options.
Leeds were in a great position in the promotion race last season but a poor run of form towards the end of the campaign saw them slip beneath the automatic promotion places before a defeat at the hands of Derby County in the playoff semi-finals ended their hopes altogether.
However, they will be expected to put all the disappointment behind them and start right from scratch next term.
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Keeping that in mind, the arrival of a talented youngster like Ben White could possibly do a world of good to the team morale on and off the pitch. That said, Leeds should go ahead with a deal to sign the promising 21-year-old starlet this summer.