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Darren Bent argues that it is too early for Liverpool to make a move for Ben White

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…

Leeds United’s Ben White was linked with a move to Liverpool last weekend but Darren Bent believes a gradual rise to the top level is the best thing for the defender’s development.

What did he say?

The Brighton & Hove Albion loanee has adjusted to life at Leeds with ease and has already made a big impression on the support since joining in the summer.

Reports emerged linking the 21-year-old with a £20m switch to Anfield, but the former England international thinks it would be too much of a step up at the current time.

Instead, Bent argues he would be better suited to playing regularly at Leeds or his parent club, suggesting he has a lot of time ahead of him so there is no need to rush things.

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Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “What he needs to do, don’t worry about Liverpool, go back to Brighton and nail down a spot there first. Rather than jumping six, seven levels – you’re talking about trying to move (Virgil) van Dijk and Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.

“It’s always brilliant being linked with the top four but concentrate on your football first. You never know, Leeds might get promoted, you’re comfortable there, you’re solid there, you could move there (permanently) and then move on from there (in the future).”

Bent’s view may be born from his own career trajectory, joining Premier League Charlton after impressing in the second tier for Ipswich, but White has shown adaptability consistently in his short career, playing his way up through the divisions to establish himself in the Championship, so he could feasibly make another jump.

Ready to step up

White had big boots to fill upon joining Leeds as Pontus Jansson departed over the summer, but he has dealt brilliantly with the pressure and shown composure and an assuredness in his defending which makes him suitable for the Premier League.

His WhoScored average rating of 7.3 in the league is evidence of that, as is the fact he has been a consistent pick under Marcelo Bielsa.

Added to that, Noel Whelan described him as a player who is “destined for a top-four side”, praising his decision-making and suggesting he is “very capable on the ball”, so fits both the Reds and the Premier League as a player who “ticks every single box”.

He clearly has the talent and ability, and if Liverpool feel his development would be best aided by capturing him early then they should definitely try to sign him.

They did the same with Joe Gomez when he was only 18 and breaking through at Charlton, and he has proved a success – progressing into a regular first-team player for both his club and England.

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Article title: Darren Bent argues that it is too early for Liverpool to make a move for Ben White

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