Could this be the glimmer of hope that Leeds United fans have been crying out for in the club’s pursuit of Ben White this summer?

Brighton have signed yet another defender, and many supporters have taken to Twitter to express their belief that it could be the spark that ignites the fuse on White returning to Elland Road for next season.

The Seagulls confirmed the news via their official Twitter account on Friday evening, before Yorkshire Evening Post reporter Graham Smyth shared the announcement alongside the somewhat sarcastic caption: “Need more defenders”.

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But before we get too excited, let’s break down what this actually means for White, and therefore Leeds.

The player who Brighton have signed is Belgian centre-back Lars Dendoncker.

He is a 19-year-old who arrives from the youth system at Club Brugges on a free transfer.

So far, so good.

But things look a lot less promising when you begin to realise that Dendoncker is quite a long way off being a first team challenger.

The youngster never made a senior appearance for his former side, and will actually join up with the U23s on the south coast.

By contrast, we heard from Brighton stopper Christian Walton just yesterday that White is expected to challenge for a starting role next term.

So, should we abandon all hope?

Maybe not just yet.

Yes, Brighton have made it clear that they do not intend to part with White, but it’s hard to deny that they have an embarrassment of riches at centre-back already.

With Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster, Shane Duffy, Matt Clarke, Dan Burn, and Joel Veltman in the squad, the path to a regular first team path won’t be a clear one.

Who’s to say that Dendoncker can’t add his name to that list in the coming months?

Let’s not forget, the transfer window is open until October.

If the season starts and White is struggling for minutes, anything could happen with regards to where he sees his future.

Bringing in another bright young thing at the heart of defence, reserve team or otherwise, will only complicate things further.

This deal won’t necessarily be the one that heralds the return on White to Leeds, but expect this saga to rumble on for a while yet.

Here are some of the best tweets from excited Leeds fans:

In other Leeds United news, ‘One of their own’ – Exclusive: Pundit shocked as PL ace refuses new deal amid Leeds interest

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