This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Ben White has very quickly become a fan favourite at Leeds, weaving his way into the hearts and minds of those at Elland Road.
The defender was signed on loan from Brighton during the summer window as he became the sole replacement for the departing Pontus Jansson.
However, one of the stars of their backline, White, could be set for a new role at some point this term.
Ahead of the game with Barnsley last weekend Marcelo Bielsa gave his thoughts on Kalvin Phillips and the role he plays as a holding midfielder.
Interestingly, however, he also stated White could play in a similar role.
Bielsa on Phillips: “He can grow a lot more.” Says Forshaw can do much the same job (and also Ben White, interestingly) “but the difference is Kalvin has 60 games playing in this position.” #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) September 13, 2019
This was an intriguing revelation from the Argentine who hasn’t been afraid to play some of his squad in unfamiliar roles.
Leif Davis has filled in at centre-half this campaign while Jack Harrison has even played up front next to Patrick Bamford.
It feels unlikely that the 21-year-old would be moved from a role where he won the PFA Fans’ Player of the Month in, but he certainly has the qualities to potentially shine if Bielsa does favour a degree of change.
White has starred in defence and has so far won 3.3 aerial duels per game in just seven outings.
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But what would make him a competent defensive midfielder is his range of passing and the way he can break up the play.
The young centre-back is confident on the ball and set Patrick Bamford free with a superb pass up the field against Nottingham Forest in one of his two chances he’s created this season.
That stat is one that betters Phillips who makes only 1.3 each match. One of White’s major strengths is reading the game, an attribute that would be incredibly suitable to playing in defensive midfield.
Following Bielsa’s comments, there are plenty of reasons to believe he could still thrive slightly higher up.