Noel Whelan has told BBC Radio Leeds (broadcast on 11/1 from 17:00) that he is not sure if there are many better young centre-backs around right now than Ben White, before comparing the Leeds United loanee with Liverpool’s Joe Gomez.
White has been a sensational signing for Marcelo Bielsa’s side. His form, particularly during the early stages of the season, was outstanding. It is remarkable to think that he went into the campaign having never played at a level higher than League One.
The 22-year-old has rarely produced a poor performance for the Championship promotion-chasers. And after making a comparison with the Liverpool man, the former Leeds striker suggested that he would love to see Andrea Radrizzani attempt to keep him at Elland Road on a permanent basis.
“I don’t think there’s many better young centre-halves around right now,” he told BBC Radio Leeds. “You look at Gomez at Liverpool, he’s very much like a Gomez. He reads the game well, he’s got every attribute you want. He’s good on the ball, he drives, he knows when to make a pass. He covers round, he can win headers, he’s strong, he’s confident, he’s calm.
“I’m hoping that we go up and we’d be able to buy him.”
TBR View – Music to Liverpool fans’ ears?
The comparison with Gomez should certainly alert Liverpool fans. Sky Sports reported earlier this month that Jurgen Klopp was monitoring White, with Tottenham and Chelsea also keen.
With Liverpool running away with the league title, some supporters may have their concerns about a potential move for White. He is yet to make his Premier League debut.
But it would be no surprise if his top flight bow was under his belt by the end of the first weekend of next season. And given how well he has handled the step up to the Championship, it may not be too long before he is thriving at the highest level.
Leeds will surely want to sign him permanently if they get across the line this season. But it has been clear since the early stages of this season that they cannot expect to be the only side in the running for his signature when his loan spell ends.