Kalvin Phillips has admitted in an interview with Leeds That that Ben White was initially gutted when he missed out on the chance to join Leeds United permanently in the summer.
It did appear that the majority of the Elland Road faithful had the same name at the top of their transfer wishlist following promotion to the Premier League.
White had enjoyed a stunning loan spell with Marcelo Bielsa’s side. He proved to be a fantastic replacement for Pontus Jansson as Leeds stormed to the Championship title.
With the centre-back yet to get a chance with Brighton, Leeds hoped that they may be able to convince the Seagulls into selling White.
And they certainly went some way to try and keep him permanently. According to Sky Sports, Leeds made three bids for the 23-year-old – including one worth £25 million.
However, Brighton rejected all offers. And that prompted the Whites to go on and sign Robin Koch instead.
White has since gone on to play an important role for Graham Potter’s men in the opening weeks of the new campaign. But Phillips suggested that White had his heart set on returning before Brighton’s stance became apparent.
“I spoke to Ben after his game the other day,” he told Leeds That. “Obviously he was gutted at the time when he didn’t sign, but it came to a point where you have to just forget about the chance to play for Leeds and just play football. I don’t really talk to him about football now, just ask how he and his family are doing”
TBR View: Leeds missing out has seemingly not worked badly for anyone
Not returning to Leeds has arguably not worked out badly for any party involved. White has started all of Brighton’s games so far in the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Koch has proved to be an inspired signing for Bielsa’s men.
But it will be very interesting to see if Leeds are ever linked with White again at some stage in the future.