Following Swedish defender Pontus Jansson’s summer departure to Championship rivals Brentford, Leeds fans may have been a little concerned as to who would replace the fans favourite at the heart of the sides defence.
Step forward 21-year-old Ben White, who has been in phenomenal form alongside Liam Cooper after arriving on a season-long loan from Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion.
The youngster, who’s enjoyed previous loan spells with Newport County in the fourth tier and Peterborough United in League One, has slotted in seamlessly at Championship level, taking the move up a level comfortably in his stride.
Perhaps not yet as physically strong as Jansson, White is still able to keep attackers at bay, using his reading of the game and mobility to sweep up danger.
Having been partnered with imposing captain Liam Cooper so far, the young loanee has shown experience beyond his years and looks at his best when bringing the ball out of defence and initiating – and joining in with – his side’s attacking play.
This is an attribute which has enabled White to slot into Marcelo Bielsa’s side easily, as the Argentine favours a possession-based, expansive style from his team – something that suits White’s game perfectly.
Bielsa will have done his homework on White, so the success he’s having shouldn’t come as a surprise in that regard. Moving up the levels, White has drawn effusive praise from previous managers, with Newport boss Michael Flynn telling the South Wales Argus that White was “the best loan signing the club had ever made”.
Moving up a level, White again easily made the transition to League One football as he played 15 times for Peterborough (on-loan from his parent club) across the latter part of last season.
Since replacing Jansson at Leeds this season, White’s performances have drawn plaudits from pundits and fans alike, with former United player Danny Mills telling talkSPORT that he believes the youngster has been “exceptional” and is a clear “upgrade” on his Swedish predecessor Jansson.
If White’s performances continue in this vein, it seems certain that his career will carry on the almost meteoric rise it’s seen so far. Ben White seems destined for the top, be it with Leeds United or elsewhere, and he possesses all the attributes necessary for a long career at the highest level.