Ben White Impresses on Competitive Debut
09 Aug 2019 03:07pm, by YorkshireSquare
After falling at the play-off hurdle last season, there was always going to be the overriding question as to whether or not Leeds United could pick themselves up from such bitter disappointment and although it will take some time to answer, the early signs certainly look positive.
Ashton Gate is never an easy place to go to, especially on the first Sunday of a new Championship campaign and although Lee Johnson’s men would have been confident of opening their account, they were simply no match for Leeds.
With a season of English second-tier experience under his belt, Marcelo Bielsa will now be fully accustomed to what both he and his players need to do this season and make sure that the club’s exile from the Premier League comes to an end. He is well-known for his ability to get the best out of teams through his training methods that ensure they are cohesive.
Not since the 2003/04 season have Leeds been a member of the English top-flight and with the weight of expectation arguably crushing them last time around, it is going to be interesting to see if they can live up to the mantle of Championship favourites.
If this is to be the case, a lot is going to expected of defender Ben White as they don't have a lot of depth in that area and although he has been given the difficult task of filling the void left by Pontus Jansson’s departure, it is fair to say that he passed his first test with flying colours.
The on-loan Brighton defender turned in a magnificent performance against Bristol City and it is one that has got Leeds fans purring at the prospect of witnessing this young defender display his talents on a weekly basis. While such was the level of performance in the South West, that Brighton fans are likely to be asking themselves, just why he is not a part of the first team plans under new manager Graham Potter and especially when you consider the challenge the Seagulls have this season.
A look at the current Premier League betting sees Brighton priced at 15/8 by bet365 to be relegated and as third favourites to suffer the drop, there does not seem to be a lot of confidence in a team that survived by the skin of their teeth last time around. They are unlikely to miss White as they have plenty of options at centre-back, but this is likely to be a tough season, regardless, and they could easily end up being replaced by Leeds in the Premier League.
It would have been much easier to select an older and more experienced option at centre back in Leeds' first league encounter. However, Bielsa has obviously loaned White for good reason and that is because he believes, the new number five has plenty to offer the club over the next nine months.
If the Argentine can nurture the young defender, like he has so many other players in the past, then this loan signing could be one of the most important of Leeds’ summer activity.