Leeds United’s top priority at the start of the summer transfer window was to bring in some centre-backs.
At one point, United had just one fit senior centre-back in their squad after Gaetano Berardi’s ACL injury and Ben White’s return to Brighton, and it was up to Victor Orta to fix this mess.
Understandably, his first port of call was to try and sign White on a permanent deal, but with Brighton holding out for more than £30m, Leeds had to look elsewhere.
In the end, they signed German international Robin Koch and La Liga ace Diego Llorente to plug the gap left by White, and those decisions have already been justified.
Signing two players with experience of playing in a top European league ahead of a man who had only ever played in the Championship and League One seems like a no-brainer on the surface, but after his heroics last season, Leeds were willing to spend big on White.
Luckily, they didn’t splash out on the centre-back as his early season performances indicate that he isn’t quite ready to be a Premier League star at this point in his career.
Brighton have conceded 10 goals in four games, and while that is one better than Leeds’ record of 11, United haven’t yet played Llorente, while they’ve seen marked improvement as the weeks have gone by, conceding just once in their last two games, despite having to face one of the best teams in the world in the shape of Manchester City.
White has been culpable for some of Brighton’s woes at the back, he was torn to bits by Marcus Rashford against Man Utd as he left the 22-year-old on the floor, not once, but twice, before he fired past the Seagulls’ goalkeeper last week, and white was powerless to stop the Everton onslaught as the Toffees netted four over the weekend.
The defender has played just 349 minutes in the Premier League, and he already doesn’t look like the commanding centre-back he was in the Championship last term, averaging just one clearance and 1.3 successful tackles per match. Leeds should feel quietly pleased with themselves for not offering any more than £30m to land their man.