According to claims from reputed The Athletic journalist James Pearce back in September, Liverpool had been linked with a move for Brighton and Hove Albion centre-back Ben White during the summer window.
The Reds scouted the defender extensively during his hugely impressive loan spell at Leeds United in the Championship last season (h/t The Echo) before following up their interest with an official approach in the summer. Brighton, though, were reluctant to sell the 23-year-old and White eventually ended up signing a 4-year deal with the Seagulls until the summer of 2024.
However, it had been claimed that Liverpool would continue to monitor his progress quickly with a view to a potential transfer in the future.
Ben White started his footballing education at Southampton before joining Brighton’s youth system after being released by the Saints aged 16. He initially caught the eye for the Seagulls at the reserve level before making his first-team debut in an EFL Cup tie during the 2016-17 season.
He spent the 2017-18 season on loan at Newport County in League Two and followed it up with a successful loan at Peterborough United in the third-tier before completing a temporary move to Leeds United in the summer of 2019.
White made a massive impression in the Championship, featuring 49 times in all competitions as Marcelo Bielsa’s side secured promotion to the Premier League as the outright winners of the second division. The highly-rated centre-back has since established himself as a part of Brighton’s first-team plans, starting all of the Seagulls five opening league fixtures so far this season. So if you are one of those tipsters get on Power Play and place a bid for Klopp to successfully sign the player and bring on board to the success story at Anfield.
Liverpool added the likes of Kostas Tsimikas, Thiago Alcantara, and Diogo Jota to their ranks in the summer on the back of a first domestic triumph in 30 years. The Reds, though, failed to bring in a replacement to cover for the departure of long-serving Dejan Lovren, meaning that they went into the 2020-21 campaign somewhat light in their centre-back options.
And the latest injury update on Virgil van Dijk comes as a hammer blow to Liverpool’s chances of retaining the Premier League title. The Dutchman suffered damage to his anterior cruciate ligament following an incident involving Everton’s Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby on Saturday and scans have revealed that the 29-year-old will need to undergo a surgery.
No timeframe has been put on his return but it is understood that van Dijk will now miss large quarters of the ongoing campaign even if he manages to make a return before the end of the season. Calamity couldn’t have struck Liverpool at a worse time, with the domestic window having just ended earlier in the week.
Van Dijk’s injury has left Jurgen Klopp with Joel Matip and Joe Gomez as his only specialist options at the heart of the defence. Fabinho has occasionally been utilised at the back in the past but a new central defender should be top of the club’s agenda when the market reopens in January.
To put things into perspective, Liverpool should make a renewed attempt to sign Ben White during the mid-season trading period to address squad depth issues at the heart of the defence. The youngster has enjoyed an impressive start to life in the Premier League after ripping it up while on loan in the Championship last season.
The 23-year-old fits the bill at Anfield as someone who could possibly offer Klopp with some immediate cover at centre-back. White’s status as a top-quality young player with enormous potential means that he also ticks the box as a good long-term signing for the reigning PL champions.
Ben White has already been tipped for stardom and playing alongside some of the best players on the planet at Liverpool will surely help him take his game to the next level. That said, it should be an absolute no-brainer for Liverpool to reignite their interest in the Brighton graduate in January, especially after van Dijk’s injury layoff.
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