By Craig Scott

21st Oct, 2020 | 6:10pm

Sky Sports pundit hails club for rejecting Leeds bid that 'would have paid for the academy'

Sky Sports pundit Glenn Murray has tipped Brighton centre-back to play for England and has hailed the south coast club for rejecting bids from Leeds United in the summer.

According to Sky Sports, Leeds tabled three offers worth up to £25million for the 23-year-old in the transfer window after he impressed while on loan at Elland Road in the Championship last season.

Murray, who is still on the books at Brighton but is currently on loan at Watford, believes that White has continued his form since returning to the AMEX Stadium and the Seagulls did well to snub Leeds’ offers.

“There no reason why Ben at his age can’t go on and play for England,” Murray on the BBC’s Albion Unlimited podcast, as transcribed by SussexLive.

“I think credit has got to be given to the club for saying no to the amounts of money that were bandied around in the summer from Leeds.

“That takes a lot of faith to turn those offers down because they are lumpy offers for anyone, especially when they haven’t kicked a ball in the Premier League.

“But that shows the belief they have in the player and in what the club is doing in general.

“We are starting to see the conveyor belt coming through the academy now, and it is bearing fruit.

“If we had decided to sell Ben White in the summer that would have paid for the academy right there, but we chose not to because we believe he is worth more.”

White was superb for Leeds last season and we will never forget how crucial the role was that he played in Marcelo Bielsa’s promotion campaign.

However, the defender is now a thing of the past in terms of Leeds.

Robin Koch and Diego Llorente have come in to plug the gap left by White’s exit and although we’re yet to see Llorente, Germany international Koch has started to look every bit the player White was – and more.

Stats by WyScout show that Koch has completed 90.4 per cent of his passes in the Premier League for Leeds while also averaging 5.79 interceptions, 11.2 recoveries and 2.05 clearances per 90 minutes of league football for the Whites.

White, on the other hand, has a pass accuracy of 86.8 per cent in the Premier League with Brighton this season. He’s also averaged 4.7 interceptions, 9.58 recoveries and 0.75 clearances per 90 minutes.

All those stats are worse than what Koch has managed at Leeds.

We’re not here to rubbish White – he’s a superb centre-back and we agree with Murray when he says that he can play for England in the future.

But missing out on signing the Brighton man permanently is turning out to be a blessing in disguise.

In other Leeds United news, fans were blown away by this loanee’s latest performance and there are now calls for him to return.