Ben White has become a fan favourite at Elland Road this season as he continues to shine on loan from Premier League side Brighton, and he has responded briefly to the Daily Mail when asked about a permanent move this summer.
When Marcelo Bielsa landed White on a season-long loan from Brighton in the summer, many Whites fans questioned the move – given Pontus Jansson’s exit and the failure to sign a more experienced centre-back.
Fast forward until now, and White has clocked up 37 appearances for Leeds this season – arguably the club’s best player this season other than Kalvin Phillips. According to a Sun on Sunday report (15/12; page 61), Chelsea want White for £25million.
Brighton boss Graham Potter has repeatedly stated that White is a Seagulls player, while he has been linked with more clubs than just Chelsea. A move to Leeds, then, is unlikely – but he gave Leeds fans hope when asked about a permanent switch.
“Who knows?” White said, when asked about a permanent move to Leeds. On whether Leeds can gain promotion, White said: “It would mean the world. I don’t think there would be a better team to do it with.
“It’s been very different but I’m learning every day,” White added, on playing in midfield in place of Phillips. “I had never played in midfield before this season. It’s tougher, but I enjoy it and it’s something I’m trying to work on.”
TBR’s view – Do Leeds have a chance of getting White permanently?
Of course they do. White is likely to clock up the best part of 50 matches by the time his loan ends at Elland Road, and that will mean the defender will have already fallen in love with the club’s vociferous support.
If Leeds are to stand a chance and rival the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Wolves who have all been linked, then promotion is a necessity. Failure to go up, and White will not join Leeds.
But promotion, and Leeds’ willingness to match his £25million price tag, would give Leeds a chance.