According to Liverpool Echo, Liverpool have scouted Brighton youngster Ben White throughout the season and are keen to sign him in the summer window.
The English youngster has been on the radars of the Reds since his time at Elland Road on loan, and the report suggests that Jurgen Klopp is keen to reinforce his backline with the departure of Croatian ace Dejan Lovren to Zenit St. Petersburg.
However, the league champions would find it difficult to lure him to Anfield after Brighton boss Graham Potter claimed last month that they had no intention to sell the centre-back, with Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United also keen to sign him on a permanent basis, as per Daily Mail.
Born in Poole, England, White started his career with Southampton but was released by the Saints at the age of 16. He was then signed by Brighton to their academy. The youngster made his debut against Colchester United in the EFL Cup back in August 2016 but struggled for regular game time.
He was sent on loan to Newport County for the 2017/18 campaign, where he excelled for the League Two side, featuring in 51 games that season. However, a return to his parent club didn’t help him much. He went on to play for Peterborough United on loan which was followed by a move to Leeds last season.
White was one of the stars at the back under Bielsa as he propelled them to the Premier League with some consistent and impressive performances. The 22-year-old never missed a Championship game and was ever-present at the back, forming a strong partnership with Liam Cooper and has attracted a lot of interest from the top clubs, as per The Express.
Virgil van Dijk has shouldered the burden of Liverpool’s defence since his arrival from Southampton. He was excellent last season and earned the Players’ Player of the year and UEFA Men’s Player of the Year awards last season. He has been ever-present in Klopp’s system at the back.
However, the Netherlands ace has run short of partners. Former Schalke man Joel Matip did well for a long time. But since his injury, the Cameroonian hasn’t been the same. He has fallen down the pecking order. Young Joe Gomez has been a regular starter but he lacks confidence in big games.
Against Chelsea a few weeks back, the three goals they conceded came from Gomez’s side of the defence and that shows he lacks experience and needs to improve. Croatian ace Lovren’s departure also clearly indicates their need for defensive reinforcements.
To that end, White would be a massive boost to the league champions’ backline. The English youngster has been in sensational form this season and the fact that he didn’t miss a single game should prompt Klopp to make a strong attempt for White this summer. He could provide them with some much-needed depth, whilst also bringing healthy competition for Gomez.
With Lovren having exited and Matip still in his recovery process, Liverpool could struggle without enough depth in their squad next season. And White seems like a decent option to bolster their defensive unit. He is just 22 and has a lot of room for development. He could also go on to represent the Reds in the long run.