When Southampton released Ben White as a 17-year-old, few would have predicted that he would go on to establish himself as a Premier League centre-back who has been attracting interest from Premier League champions Liverpool.
The Englishman left the South Coast club in 2014 to join Brighton and he has enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame with the Seagulls, mostly due to his impressive displays out on loan.
After promising displays in League Two and League One with Newport County and Peterborough United respectively, the young defender joined Leeds United on loan for the 2019/20 Championship season and it was here that a lot of people started to take notice of the Brighton man.
White played every single game in the second division for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, as they were promoted as champions, sealing a return to the Premier League for the first time in 16 years (per Sky Sports).
Across his 46 games in the Championship for Leeds, the 23-year-old averaged a superb 7.09 rating for his performances (per WhoScored), so it was no surprise to hear that the Yorkshire club were desperate to sign him permanently during the summer transfer window.
His performances also caught the eye of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side, as the Reds were also linked with signing the defender during the summer transfer window.
However, he opted to sign a new deal with the Seagulls and has been a mainstay in Graham Potter’s side so far this season, having made nine appearances in the Premier League, in which he has averaged a sold 6.73 rating (per WhoScored).
During his time with Leeds, former player Noel Whelan told BBC Radio Leeds (via HITC):
“He’s a special player, isn’t he? He’s a special player. I know he doesn’t belong to us, I wish he did. That kid seems to have everything.
“If he does get us up to the Premier League, maybe there is a deal to be done. But I can imagine that he’s going to cost a lot of money, but he would be worth it.”
Jamie Carragher also suggested that an England call-up may not be too far away for the youngster, so it could definitely be argued that the Saints will be regretting releasing him in 2013, as he is now quickly becoming one of the hottest prospects in English football.