Why Man United should go all out for Ben White in January
Premier League rivals Chelsea and Tottenham are also monitoring the 23-year-old, who has made the step up to the top-flight with the Seagulls this term after impressing on his loan spell at Leeds United in the Championship last season. (h/t Sky Sports)
Leeds were heavily linked with a permanent transfer for White in the summer and even bid as much as £25million for the centre-back. Brighton, though, tied him down to a new long-term deal and White has firmly established himself in Graham Potter’s plans at the Amex Stadium.
Ben White started his footballing education at Southampton before joining Brighton’s youth system back in 2014. He was handed his senior debut against Colchester United in an EFL Cup tie in the 2016-17 campaign after impressing for the Seagulls at the U-23 level.
The centre-back had his first taste of senior professional football on loan at Newport County in League Two and followed it up with a productive stint at Peterborough United in the third tier. White joined Leeds United on loan in 2019 and was one of the cornerstones of the club’s triumphant campaign in the Championship.
The Poole-born star started all of Leeds’ 46 league fixtures last term, helping Marcelo Bielsa’s side return to the top-flight after a long absence of 16 years. White’s impressive development on loan at Elland Road earned him a new 4-year deal at Brighton in September and the centre-back has made a seamless transition to the top-flight this season.
White would add more quality to United’s backline
Man United have endured a lukewarm start to the campaign with 5 wins and 3 losses from their 9 opening league fixtures so far. The Red Devils have conceded 16 goals in the PL this term, which is one of the poorest defensive records in the entire division.
Indeed, the 6-1 humiliation against Tottenham at home in October has contributed greatly to those unimpressive numbers. But defeats against Crystal Palace and Istanbul Basaksehir, as well as close shaves against Brighton and Southampton clearly underlines United’s repeated struggles at the back this season.
The centre-back pairing of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof worked wonders for United last season but neither has managed to hit top gear this term. With Solskjaer showing little trust in the likes of Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Axel Tuanzebe and Timothy Fosu-Mensah, the Red Devils need to reshape their centre-back department with one eye on the future.
Putting things into context, Ben White fits the bill as a perfect long-term investment for Man United after firmly establishing himself as one of the best young central defenders in the Premier League. The 23-year-old’s loan experience across various divisions in the Football League has helped him blossom into a quality prospect and White has grabbed his opportunities with both hands at Brighton this season.
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It hardly takes a rocket scientist to figure out that a defender of the calibre of Ben White would be a great addition at Old Trafford. With Victor Lindelof also struggling for consistency, United can certainly look at a first-choice centre-back pairing of Maguire and White in the years to come.
Regarded as a player with massive potential, the 23-year-old should only get better with time and United breaking the bank to sign him could pay off handsomely for their long-term plans.