Brighton boss Graham Potter on Marcelo Bielsa's use of Ben White in Leeds United midfield and loanee's future

Marcelo Bielsa's use of Ben White in midfield has not come as a surprise for the defender's other boss.

By Graham Smyth
Sunday, 15th March 2020, 2:02 pm

Graham Potter, in charge of the loanee's parent club Brighton and Hove Albion, has been keeping tabs on the 22-year-old's progress in the Championship with Leeds United.

Up until the suspension of fixtures due to the Coronavirus, White was putting together a stellar season in the heart of the Whites' back line alongside captain Liam Cooper.

By November the pair had helped Leeds to put together the best defensive record in the country and, after a mid-season wobble, Leeds have returned to their early season form, with a run of five straight wins, all with clean sheets, before the season was interrupted.

Potter says he has kept in touch with White and has liked what he's seen from the defender during his Elland Road loan spell.

"I’m aware of his progress and we keep a track of that, he’s been doing well," said the Brighton manager.

"I’ve spoken with him over text to wish him well for the rest of the season.

"We’re pleased with how he’s doing there, and the stakes are obviously high with Leeds trying to get into the Premier League, but those experiences bring their own challenges and will help him in his development.

Ben White, pictured here against Arsenal, has had a stellar season for Leeds United, on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion (Pic: Getty)

"It’s why you go on loan in many ways, he’s done really well. It’ll be fascinating to see how it goes."

White, who had never played in the Championship before this season, hasn't exclusively featured in defence for Leeds.

Of late, he has been visibly growing more comfortable in a central defensive midfield position, when Bielsa was forced to play him there due to Kalvin Phillips' unavailability.

Potter is more than comfortable with White playing out of position, because he his player is well equipped to do so and because he trusts the man in charge of Leeds.

But, as he has reiterated numerous times this season, Potter still sees White as part of his future plans at the Amex Stadium.

“It’s not surprised me because he’s got those type of qualities,” said Potter.

“He’s mobile and good on the ball and is in the hands of a very good coach in Marcelo Bielsa. Whatever he decides for Ben is fine by me.

“I’ve been aware of his progress since he was [on loan] at Newport County and I wanted to sign him when I was in charge at Swansea City.

“I’m delighted with the experience he’s had so far this season with Leeds and we’re looking forward to working with him in the future.”