Ben White has been one of the big revelations of the season under Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds United.
The 22-year-old centre-back, who’s still officially owned by Brighton & Hove Albion, is definitely enjoying his time in the Championship and is playing some of the best football of his career.
And his development in the second tier has commanded interest from Premier League clubs as well, including Newcastle, as per a new report coming from the Chronicle.
The young defender is valued at £20m according to the same source and Steve Bruce could be keen on adding him to the squad in the not so distant future.
However, he is still tied down to Brighton until 2022, as the Chronicle explains, and the Magpies could also face some competition from Liverpool.
But who exactly is this talent that’s thriving under Bielsa and attracting interest from top tier outfits?
Let’s see what those in the know have had to say about the rising star…
Whelan is a man on the inside and knows how good White is. Of course, with Leeds only having the young talent on loan and with this interest coming from above, it’s difficult to actually see them keeping him at the club.
According to Whelan himself, the 22-year-old is very much destined to improve and eventually play for a top-four team.
Here’s what he said, according to the Chronicle:
“From what I’ve seen we were very lucky to get him in. Credit to the scouts. We were looking at him for two years before he signed.
“He is perfect for Premier League football. He ticks every single box for the modern centre-back. He’s destined for a top-four club, he’s that good.”
Of course, not many know more about White than Bielsa, his current coach.
And after an impressive game by the young defender, one in which he also recorded a fantastic assist, Bielsa was full of praise and practically in awe of his player.
Seeing how this is the notorious Bielsa we are talking about, these words mean much more than it first meets the eye.
The coach said to Leeds Live (via OneFootball):
“You can say nothing about that because it’s easy to value what White did. It’s obvious.
“It was a great, brilliant resolution that is a way to describe how football is going. The attackers defend and the defenders are also involved in the building of the attack.
“It’s not normal that one centre-back give these kind of passes Ben White did.”
One of the first people who actually recognised White’s talent and his abilities was Flynn, his former manager back at Newport County.
The centre-back played a total of 51 games for his team, even scoring one goal and assisting five in the process. Back then, he was also just a loanee, just like he is now at Leeds, and Flynn stated he was the best loanee the club had ever had.
He stated, as per South Wales Argus:
“I’d go so far as to say he’s probably the best loan signing the club has ever made.
“I know Karl Darlow would be up there as well but I think Ben White is probably the club’s best loan signing and he’s been tremendous for somebody as young as him.
“He’s never been out on loan before and the way he’s fitted in and taken everything in his stride has been brilliant.”
It seems that White could be the next big thing emerging from the Championship as far as talented defenders go.
He is currently under Bielsa’s watchful eye and is bound to only get better with time. Newcastle, however, might want to make their moves soon because a talent this good is bound to get discovered by even bigger clubs out there – Liverpool being a prime example of that.
Elsewhere, many Spurs fans were not really happy with one of their star’s recent displays…