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.

Monday, 3rd May 2021, 12:55 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd May 2021, 12:56 pm

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.

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

THEN AND NOW: Leeds United's former Brighton loanee Ben White, left, in action for the Seagulls against the Whites and Robin Koch, right, in Saturday's clash at the Amex. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images.

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."

A message from the Editor:

Leeds has a fantastic story to tell - and the Yorkshire Evening Post has been rooted firmly at the heart of telling the stories of our city since 1890.

We believe in ourselves and hope you believe in us too. We need your support to help ensure we can continue to be at the heart of life in Leeds.

Subscribe to our website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app.

With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Click here to subscribe.

For more details on our newspaper subscription offers click here.

Thank you Laura Collins