Why Ben White would be a smashing signing for Newcastle United
According to the Chronicle Live, Newcastle United are presently running the rule over in-demand centre-back Ben White, who is currently on loan at Leeds United in the Championship from Brighton and Hove Albion.
The 22-year-old, who is also on the radar of reigning European champions Liverpool, has earned rave reviews for his rich vein of form in the second-tier this season, with his burgeoning reputation as one of the best up and coming defensive prospects in the Championship putting some of the top-flight clubs on red alert (h/t Chronicle Live).
The £20million-rated central defender has been one of the Whites’ standout performers in the Championship so far, starting each of the club’s 18 league fixtures and playing every minute of the campaign.
Having conceded only 10 goals so far, Leeds currently boast of the best defensive record in the entire division and White has been at the centre of a lot of good things that the West Yorkshire giants have achieved this season.
One of the cornerstones of Leeds United’s stellar start to the season, the Poole-born star has established himself as an ever-present figure at the heart of the defence for the West Yorkshire giants following his loan switch from the south coast of England back in the summer.
White initially started his footballing education at Southampton before joining Brighton’s youth system following his release from the Saints at the age of 16. The 22-year-old is currently serving his third loan spell away from the Amex Stadium this season, having previously impressed at Newport County and Peterborough United in League Two and League One.
The centre-back’s exploits in the Championship this season are well backed up by the numbers. As per whoscored, White averages a staggering 1.9 tackles, 2.7 interceptions, 3.3 aerial duels and 3.5 clearances per game, while registering 60.6 passes per game at an accuracy rate of 85.7, including 3.2 long balls.
Indeed, those statistics speak volumes of his tough-tackling style, superb game-reading ability, aerial prowess and ball-playing nature as a modern-day central defender, attributes which should make him a tailor-made fit for the English game.
To put things into perspective, Ben White has progressed by leaps and bounds over the course of his loan stint at Elland Road and Newcastle United are well within their rights to look at him as someone who could possibly fix their backline for the next decade.
White,22, is still very young for a centre-back but his talent and has plenty of time left on his side to make significant adjustments to his game to make the step up to the Premier League in the near future.
Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark, Fabian Schar, Florian Lejeune and Federico Fernandez are all accomplished defenders but a reshuffling of options at the back won’t necessarily be a bad idea, especially with 30-year-old Fernandez out of contract next summer and Lejeune rarely featuring due to his struggles with injuries.
To that end, Ben White might not be the finished article just yet but he is only going to get better with time, and Newcastle need to look at him as an excellent long-term prospect who could potentially evolve into a faithful servant to the club moving forward.
Plus, at 22, he perfectly fits the profile of young and developing players that club owner Mike Ashley usually likes to target in the transfer market, given his obsession with the resale value of players in a bid to fund future reinvestment.
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All in all, Newcastle’s interest in Ben White certainly strikes the right chords.