Marcelo Bielsa has told his pre-Huddersfield Town press conference – as per Leeds Live – that defender Ben White will replace the suspended Kalvin Phillips in holding midfield for Leeds United on Saturday.
Phillips, 24, has been on fire for Leeds this season, continuing on from last season where he was named in the Championship Team of the Season and reportedly eyed by multiple Premier League sides including Aston Villa and Tottenham.
But the midfielder picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in the 4-0 win over Middlesbrough and Phillips will now miss Saturday’s Yorkshire derby against Huddersfield. There had been some debate over who would replace him.
Adam Forshaw is the obvious replacement, but he remains injured. Jamie Shackleton is also sidelined. Matuesz Klich has been known to drop deep, while versatile Stuart Dallas has been playing in the middle of the park of late.
But Bielsa confirmed in his press conference that Brighton loanee White, who has been recognised by some fans as the best defender in the Championship this season, will push up into holding midfield. Gaetano Berardi is likely to start at centre-back.
Leeds fans reacted to the news that Bielsa has stated White will play in defensive midfield, and many Whites fans believe it is genius. They think that White will only continue to show his class at the base of the midfield.
That's another 5 Million we've added to his valuation
— vote Bielsa (@schmucklevision) December 5, 2019
Think he will do great there
— Dan Dewsnap (@dansnaplufc) December 5, 2019
From maldini to gattuso
— Joey 🏴 (@lufcjoey) December 5, 2019
“Ben White the Brighton Pirlo…” Remember where you heard it first!
— Dom (@SpudofAmersham) December 5, 2019
For his height and strength and technique on ball he’s the best option for me
— Glenn Bugge (@Buggey20) December 5, 2019
He could play anywhere…..!!😎. The resurrected Paul Madeley
— David Wainwright (@dayvid58) December 5, 2019
genius….. That's M.B, Ben White is class though
— Chris (@cris_mannion) December 5, 2019
Ben beckenbauer .. yes I realise I know but he was imperious in both positions
— james fenemore snork (@markme1967) December 5, 2019