Leeds defender Ben White is Marcelo Bielsa’s reason for comfort

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This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets… 

Even when Leeds lose or drop points, the Whites seem to have someone that continues to deliver on a consistent basis.

One of them is Kalvin Phillips, who recently earned a new deal at Elland Road, while Ben White is the other.

He has been a pillar of solidity, a player who has more than made up for the absence of Pontus Jansson.

The Swede left behind a colossal void during the off-season. He was named in the PFA Team of the Year for 2018/19 but left for pastures new as White was his replacement.

Concerns still lie at set-pieces, where Leeds have conceded three of their five Championship strikes, but White has still looked composed and was again one of their best players on Saturday.

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For one of the first times this term, Marcelo Bielsa’s men conceded relatively early – something that’s become somewhat of a rarity after late goals versus Derby, Swansea and Nottingham Forest.

Therefore, a different test presented itself, one where the Whites had to come back.

They ultimately failed to do that but it didn’t stop White from turning in another outstanding display.

Leeds weren’t exactly under the cosh but even during concerning times for Bielsa, the 21-year-old is his bridge over troubled water.

He continues to be the positive and someone that could well help Leeds to promotion, certainly if he carries on in the way he has been.

He won the PFA Fans’ Player of the Month for August and has won a mighty 3.6 interceptions per game.

That was one of his weakest aspects against Charlton, achieving just two, but he was imperious in the tackle and strong in the air – winning ten duels over the two combined.

Who is the better defender?

Ben White

Ben White

Pontus Jansson

Pontus Jansson

In terms of successful challenges, he made just one less than the rest of the defence put together while only skipper Liam Cooper won more headed duels.

The Scot offered a sense of perspective after the game, claiming that this defeat wouldn’t define their season.

He is quite right too, especially with someone like White at the back.