MOT View: Ben White looks a cracking buy
It doesn’t look like Leeds are going to sign another centre-back this summer – and to be fair to Victor Orta and co., they have bigger fires to fight with the imminent departure of Kemar Roofe.
We still think it’s going to leave Leeds light this season if the club suffers from any injuries but we’re happier than we were after watching debutant Ben White in the 3-1 win against Bristol City on Sunday.
Everything we’d heard about it him – comfortable on the ball, good range of passing, happy to take the ball forward – proved true and he didn’t look out of place in the Championship, despite having played most of his football in League One and Two.
Whether he would have started at Ashton Gate if Gaetano Berardi hadn’t been suspended we’ll never know, although after his display we suspect Bielsa always had him earmarked for a regular role.
White made a total of 86 (63.8% successful) actions on Sunday, way above his career average per 90 minutes of 55.8. [wyscout.com]
He made 64 passes with an impressive 92% reaching their target and he sprayed around 11 long balls – seven of these were successful.
He won more than half of his 18 defensive duels and exactly half of his six aerial duels.
He made three interceptions and two clearances and was rated the highest defender on the pitch by WhoScored.com and the third-highest Leeds player overall behind Pablo Hernandez and Patrick Bamford.
Best of all, he never looked phased in the game and it looked like he was used to playing at a higher level.
We’d still prefer some extra cover at the back but if that’s not happening then at least we’ve got a quality Pontus Jansson replacement in White.