'Leeds United have done fantastic job' with Ben White, but Brighton want to keep him insists technical director
White, 22, already had successful spells with Newport County in League Two and Peterborough United in League One, before making his Championship debut for Leeds.
And just like his time with Newport, who considered him their best ever loan signing, White has shone at Elland Road.
Brighton's technical director Dan Ashworth gives Leeds credit for how well the centre-half has done this season.
“We’ve been delighted with his progress and Leeds have done a fantastic job with him,” said Ashworth on his club's website.“He’s done really well, and Leeds have done great in helping him develop – he’s played a lot of matches. We’re not surprised at how well he’s done, and we rate him highly."
White's presence at the heart of the Leeds defence has been key to the defensive solidity and the fluidity with which Marcelo Bielsa's side play out from the back.
Off the ball he has shown an ability to read the game and make interceptions that snuff out opposition attacks far from the Leeds goal.
On the ball, he has dribbled the ball well to progress the Whites up the pitch and showcased an accurate long pass that stretches the play to either flank or brings lone striker Patrick Bamford into play.
All in all, he's made himself a firm favourite in West Yorkshire and a player Leeds would dearly love to keep hold of on a permanent basis.
But Ashworth has spelled out Brighton's intentions quite clearly, when it comes to the youngster, touted by pundits as a future England star.
“He signed a new deal last summer before he went out [on loan] so when he comes back, we’ll see where we are, but he is part of our plans and a talent we’ll be looking to keep for a number of years at the club," said Ashworth.
White's performances have caught the eye of some of the Premier League giants and led to speculation that an eye-watering transfer fee could prise him away from the Amex Stadium.
But, addressing the impact of the current suspension of domestic football due to the coronavirus pandemic and its financial implications for clubs, Ashworth believes there will be a downturn in spending on players.
“I would suspect there will be a correction in the market,” he said
“I’m pretty sure every club will have been affected by this crisis in some sort of way – whether that’s revenue from supporters on a matchday, television income or something else.
“There’s been a downturn in the industry, and everyone is feeling the pain, especially the owners. I would imagine by default that means people have less money to spend on [transfer] fees for players and everything associated with that.”