Paul Robinson on why he believes Leeds United are yet to fully fill Ben White void
PAUL Robinson believes Leeds United are yet to fill the void left by Ben White's departure in providing cover for Kalvin Phillips.
England international midfielder Phillips was forced to miss Saturday's Premier League clash at Brighton due to a knee injury that is believed to be a minor issue.
Nevertheless, without him, Marcelo Bielsa's Whites slipped to a 2-0 defeat and Leeds have now lost seven of the nine Premier League games of which Phillips has been missing from the starting line up.
In his absence, German international centre-back Robin Koch stepped into the holding midfield role and fellow centre back Pascal Struijk has also been deployed in the position as an alternative to Phillips.
But Robinson says Leeds are yet to reach the levels of cover provided by former Brighton loanee White - another centre-back by trade who was also used as a deep lying midfielder in times of need.
United tried repeatedly to sign White on a permanent deal last summer but the Seagulls insisted the former loanee was not for sale and White again excelled against Leeds in Saturday's clash at the Amex.
"They do miss him whether it's offensively or defensively," said Robinson of Phillips, speaking on Amazon Prime Video.
"I think Bielsa has developed him, made him into a better player and they do struggle when he is not there because yes he is destructive and he breaks play down but he's also offensive and he can set attacks going and they do miss him.
"Last year they had a problem at the start of the season when he didn't play when they won the Championship and Ben White filled that void.
"Since he has left I don't feel Leeds have a direct replacement for him.
"Pascal Struijk has played there, we saw Robin Koch play there as well today.
"But neither have been able to have the same effect that Kalvin does on the game."
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Thank you Laura Collins