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‘He wants to play’: Boss hails Leeds-linked defensive prospect who’s ready for ‘next step’

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Leeds United

‘He wants to play’: Boss hails Leeds-linked defensive prospect who’s ready for ‘next step’

Although Leeds United have signed Robin Koch this summer, it looks as though Whites boss Marcelo Bielsa is still looking to bolster the Elland Road defensive ranks further.

Leeds were heavily linked with Ben White, who shone on loan at Elland Road last season, but parent club Brighton managed to tie him down to a new contract.

The Whites are now reported to be eyeing White’s teammate Haydon Roberts, an 18-year-old defender who has made two senior Seagulls appearances to date.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Aston Villa - Carabao Cup Third Round

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However, it appears that Brighton are playing hardball over Roberts too, The Argus reporting that they have no intention of loaning or selling him, and have knocked back interest from Leeds.

Roberts is likely to be in the squad which takes on Preston tonight in the third round of the League Cup, the same stage during which he scored on his debut against Aston Villa last season.

Brighton boss Graham Potter has talked highly of the youngster, challenging him to make the next step in terms of breaking into the first team.

“He’s quite a quiet guy,” he told The Argus. “He believes in himself a lot. He’s self-confident but knows he has still got some work to do in terms of how he is developing.

 

“That’s just normal because of his age but he’s ambitious, he’s confident and he wants to play.

“He has trained with us for a long time now and I’m looking forward to helping him take the next step, which is to be on the pitch for us and play games.

“It’s obviously not so easy. We have got some good competition in that position. He’s a young player we believe in.”

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While you can understand Brighton not wanting to part ways with White, given how impressive he’s been and how he’s very much a shoe-in for the first team, Roberts isn’t likely to get as much game time, particularly when you consider how many defenders they have in their ranks.

It remains to be seen how things pan out in the coming weeks – given how well Leeds have done with White, turning him from an unknown into one of the top young defenders in English football, Brighton would surely be confident they could do the same with Roberts.

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