By Adam Elliott

26th Nov, 2019 | 10:48am

MOT Super Fans: Leeds 22y/o deserves his place alongside legends of Elland Road

This is part of a regular series from our panel of Leeds United Super Fans. Each week, our Super Fans will deliver their verdicts on the biggest talking points and news stories around Elland Road and Thorp Arch 

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Ben White is the best centre-back Elland Road has seen since Rio Ferdinand and Lucas Radebe. 

A perfectly moulded Bielsa man, a real Rolls-Royce type centre half, White has all the attributes to take him to the very top level of English football. 

Phil Hay quoted him as being a £20m+ defender in The Athletic, and said that both Manchester United and Liverpool have been keeping tabs on his progress so far. Many Leeds fans (myself included) had raised eyebrows when Pontus Jansson was sold to Brentford for a cut-price £5.5m in the summer, and then subsequently replaced by a highly thought of youngster in White. However, White had never played above League One level and many hoped another centre-back would come in to partner Liam Cooper in the heart of defence. 

There was a reason behind Brighton not allowing a permanent clause, and humble pie has been eaten by many a Leeds fan for those pre-season comments about the loanee. The 22-year-old hasn’t just replaced Jansson, who himself was considered among the Championship’s best in his position, but White has transformed himself into the best centre-back in the entire division, surpassing Jansson in my opinion. 

Leeds’ stellar defensive record isn’t only down to the wonderful performances of White but he has played a telling role in the side’s record of only 10 conceded in 17 games – the best goals-against to game ratio in the top four tiers of English football. His role cannot be understated, he is imperative to the team, a major piece in the Bielsa-ball machine. 

His surging run to set up Bamford’s first in the weekend game against Luton personified his entire game. Brave and bold in possession and not afraid to carry the ball out. He may not be the largest or most imposing player, but his calm head and composure make him the fantastic ball-playing centre-back that he is. 

His stats make for fantastic reading and typical of a Bielsa centre-back. He completed 91/102 passes against Luton this weekend which was the most of any player on the pitch(@LUFCDATA). He also remains among the highest for completed passes for the whole Championship season so far. Going into the game against Luton no player had more interceptions in the league than his 46 (@OfficialBHAFC). His presence of mind and reading of the game is second to none.

Bielsa said of the youngster after the game – “He’s a great player. He takes risks and he doesn’t make mistakes. That is the most difficult thing in football. The best players risk and don’t make mistakes.” 

He’s my player of the season so far, and by some distance. He would also be my first signing upon promotion to the Premier League without question. Whatever the price is, he’s worth it. 

If you haven’t already put money on him playing for England, do it now. You’ll make all your money back and then some. White is a really special talent, we should just sit back and enjoy him while we have him.

Adam Elliott is a member of the MOT Super Fans panel and provides his post-match thoughts on Leeds after every game

In other Leeds United news, 19y/o turns heads – 3 things we learned from U23s in 2-0 win v Wigan