'I haven't had that attention before, it's a massive club' - Brighton's Ben White getting his head around the Championship, Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds United
As if Ben White didn't have enough on his plate, adapting to the Championship for the first time, the youngster has had to get his head around Marcelo Bielsa's demands and the size of Leeds United.
The Brighton loanee has made an impressive start to life at Elland Road, cementing his place in the centre of defence alongside club captain Liam Cooper.
Until this season he had never played higher than League One, yet so impressive have his early performances been that he already has a PFA Fans Player of the Month award to his name and a host of eye-catching stats.
Modestly, he credits his new colleagues for making it an easy transition this summer.
"It’s been really good so far, everyone’s helped me settle in and the lads are a good group to be around,” he told his parent club's official website.
“It’s been a strong start too; the weekend’s result [defeat by Swansea] wasn’t the one we wanted but we have a few weeks now to rest and prepare for the game after the international break.
“Winning the matches in the way we did obviously attracted admiring glances – our work without the ball gets noticed because we work hard, and our attacking play has been good to watch so far too.”
White might be making the step up to the Championship look easy, but life under Bielsa is anything but.
The 21-year-old insists he's enjoying the Argentine's input, the intricacies of his style of football, but makes no bones of how tough and intense the workload has been and how long the pre-season days were.
“Working under the manager has been great, people have said about his methods day to day and he is very demanding," said White.
“He’s very detailed in everything he does and for me it’s been about picking up the habits which he wants me to play with.
“It’s been hard work – we did double sessions throughout pre-season every day, we were in from nine in the morning to seven at night, it’s definitely one of the reasons why we’ve started the season as well as we have.”
And then, there's the fans.
White has quickly endeared himself to Whites, who played a big part in the aforementioned award, a public vote.
The adulation, the influx of followers on Twitter and Instagram, is another new experience for the former Newport and Peterborough loan signing.
His burgeoning romance with the Leeds following will be nothing compared to the bond between them if he achieves his and the club's aim this season.
“I’ve seen the praise I’ve been getting since I arrived at the club and it’s obviously very nice," he said.
“I haven’t really had that attention before, it’s a massive club – but I’m just focused on what I’m trying to do for the team, our aim this year is promotion and we all believe we can achieve that.”