After 185 games for the club, Dejan Lovren is inching ever closer to the exit door at Liverpool this summer.
The Croatia international joined the Merseyside club from fellow Premier League side Southampton, but has found himself out of favour this season – in total, he made just 15 appearances across all competitions, with only ten of them coming in the top-flight.
Reports in recent days have suggested that the 31-year-old is closing in on a £11m move to Russian side Zenit St Petersburg, and that of course has prompted speculation over where the Reds will be entering the market for a replacement.
The Evening Standard have claimed that Brighton defender Ben White – who has been on loan at newly-promoted Leeds this season – is “highly-rated” by the recruitment team at Anfield, although there are concerns whether they would have to pay a premium for him considering he is an English player.
But if Michael Edwards can get a deal over the line for White, then Liverpool could be looking at someone who could form a major part of their back-line for the years to come.
His teammate at Leeds this year, Adam Forshaw, waxed lyrical about his abilities, saying: “He’s unbelievable. He literally hasn’t put a foot wrong. He’s so cool on the ball and he’s clever. He might not be the most physical centre back but he’s just clever. He nicks it, times his headers really well and looks like a top, top player. We’re lucky to have him.”
That idea of White being a “clever” player is backed up by former Premier League defender Danny Higginbotham who paid tribute to his reading of the game. He said: “One of the biggest compliments I can give White is that I don’t know how quick he is because he is rarely out of position and forced to step up a gear.”
Higginbotham’s remarks are eerily similar to how most people may describe Virgil van Dijk. The towering Dutchman never looks he’s ruffled by opposition players, and simply looks like he’s playing in cruise control, rarely bothered by anything.
White appears to be in the same mould, and is exactly why Liverpool must clinch his signing this summer.