Many Leeds United fans have been left fearing the worst, after Marcelo Bielsa confirmed that Ben White will play in midfield against Millwall on Tuesday night.
Bielsa will be without Kalvin Phillips for the visit of Gary Rowett’s side to Elland Road, after our normal midfield anchor was shown a straight red card against Queens Park Rangers on January 18.
The boss has been without Phillips just once before this season when the 23-year-old was suspended for accumulating five yellow cards, which forced him to sit out our 2-0 win away to local rivals Huddersfield Town in December.
Bielsa favoured White in midfield that day as the holding option between Stuart Dallas and Barry Douglas in a 3-3-3-1, and saw the on-loan Brighton & Hove Albion centre-half register a 61% pass completion rate with 22 passes finding a teammate, along with seven successful aerial duels, two from three tackles, six clearances and one interception, per WhoScored data.
Is Bielsa making a mistake playing White in midfield?
Not all of the Elland Road fanbase were convinced by White’s ability to play in the role, though, and now fear what will be seen against Millwall on Tuesday night.
Bielsa revealed that White will return to the role while speaking to the media on Monday, per The Athletic’s Phil Hay, and noted that it will be the only change from the XI which lost at QPR last time out.
Here are some of the messages shared to Bielsa confirming White’s role for Tuesday night’s league meeting with Millwall, which could see United move back atop the Championship table if West Bromwich Albion drop any points at Cardiff City…
— JT (@lufc_) January 27, 2020
— Leanne Fletcher (@LeanneJF) January 27, 2020
Because that worked a treat agaisnt Huddersfield, I hope we don’t do this for the next 3 games 👀😂
— Burny (@Aaronburnside) January 27, 2020
No no no no
— Robbu (@ImRobbu) January 27, 2020
the midfield is already weaker with no phillips so why weaken the defence as well
— antony pawson (@antonypawson) January 27, 2020
This is bad bad bad. Why not give one of our young midfielders a go, not one of our CBs, when we only have 2!!!
— Ben (@ben080385) January 27, 2020
Ben white looked lost in that role before
— mightywhites1966 (@mightyleeds1966) January 27, 2020
— paul kelly (@paulie_lufc) January 27, 2020
I just dont get why you would move your best CB out of position just to fill another….so we are effectively weaker in two positions instead of just one
— Aaron Taylor (@AzzaLufc) January 27, 2020
Not keen on that. Didn’t work last time
— Jay 💙💛 (@jaymerry91) January 27, 2020
So we’re playing with ten men again
— Connor (@connorlufc_) January 27, 2020
In other Leeds United news, reports have claimed the club will not be making any signings to replace a 28-year-old this month.