“It would mean the world”: Ben White goes to the top, but wants to help Leeds triumph in the championship and be the first to reach the Premier League
- Defender Ben White has lent an excellent season to Leeds from Brighton
- The 22-year-old made another impression when Leeds left home at home on Saturday
- The Whites won 1-0 and are approaching promotion at the top of the championship
Eyebrows were raised last summer when Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa sold defender Pontus Jansson to promoter Brentford and replaced him with Ben White from Brighton.
The 22-year-old has thrived under Bielsa during a seasonal loan and his screenings have linked him to Liverpool, Manchester United and Wolves.
Brighton sees White as an important part of their plans and he seems a good bet to play Premier League football next season, regardless of whether Leeds ends their 16-year exile from the top flight.
Ben White is exceptional for Leeds because they have won the championship this season
Marcelo Bielsa borrowed the young defender from Brighton and was nicely rewarded
‘Who knows?’ was White’s diplomatic response when asked about the prospect of a permanent transfer to Elland Road. He was more open about the prospect of helping promotion win.
“It would mean the world,” he said. “I don’t think there’s a better team for it.”
The latest rendition of White helped Bielsa’s men with another precious win, releasing five points from third place with 12 games left.
When midfielder Kalvin Phillips was forced out in the first half with a calf problem, White was pushed from the middle back to the center of the park with an impressive effect. His defensive and technical qualities have helped him in both positions this season.
Pablo Hernandez (left) scored the winner because Leeds won 1-0 against Reading on Saturday
“It has been very different, but I learn every day,” said White. “I had never played in midfield before. It’s harder, but I enjoy it and it’s something I’m trying to work on. “
Phillips’ injury is not serious and encourages hope that he can be fit for Wednesday’s trip to Middlesbrough.
The winner of Pablo Hernandez in the 57th minute was skillfully taken, stabbed after his first attempt was stopped, although it needed a dramatic late save by goalkeeper Kiko Casilla to seal the points. Casilla’s FA hearing in an alleged racist remark against Charlton striker Jonathan Leko last September took place in London.
A verdict is expected soon, for fear of a long ban.