Brighton happy for White to continue development at Leeds

Brighton and Hove Albion

Brighton boss Graham Potter has indicated he's more than happy for Ben White to stay at Leeds on loan, believing he's getting better all the time.

The 22-year-old has impressed in West Yorkshire since joining the Whites on a season-long loan deal, featuring in all 16 Championship matches so far this term.

His ability on the ball and calmness at the back has won him many admirers at Elland Road with head coach Marcelo Bielsa singing his praises.

White’s good form in the second tier has not gone unnoticed though with Liverpool linked with a £20million January move last month, while Manchester United have also been credited with an interest.

However, with the Reds unlikely to do much business in the winter window and a lack of substance in the link to United, parent club Brighton had posed the biggest threat to Leeds keeping White as part of their promotion push.

The Seagulls aren’t short of options at centre-half but haven’t always found it easy keeping out the opposition at the back this season and so White might be a useful addition to Potter’s squad.

The former Swansea boss is happy for White to remain at Leeds though, believing the experience of playing week in, week out at Championship level could prove invaluable to his football education.

“It’s really good for him and Leeds United too, because it shows that the loan has worked well for everybody. He was a player that was really after first-team football and he’s got that opportunity there,” he told the Brighton website.

“Of course he’s still our player, but we’re happy that he’s having a good experience and getting better all the time, so we’re delighted.”

Even if Brighton wanted to recall White, the Yorkshire Post have reported that they didn’t insert a relative clause into his loan agreement and that the only way they could have brought him back to the south coast would have been if he hadn’t of played enough first-team football.

Potter has previously indicated White is part of his long-term plans with the Seagulls and he could take the place of Lewis Dunk eventually, the centre-half having been strongly linked with a move to Leicester during the last transfer window.

With White’s reputation continuing to grow, Brighton could face a battle to hang on to the centre-half were Liverpool to firm up their interest come the end of the season.