Spotlight on Ben White as Leeds United's Brighton loanee excels in gap left by Kalvin Phillips
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Centre-back White stepped forward into the central defensive midfield position after Kalvin Phillips was forced to be taken off injured in the 37rd minute.
His withdrawal naturally raised concerns with Leeds clearly affected by the 24-year-old's recent three-match absence due to a three-match suspension picked up for the straight red card in the 1-0 loss at Queens Park Rangers.
White and Mateusz Klich had been taking turns deputising in the role during Phillips' suspension and White produced his best display yet in the position in Saturday's 1-0 win against the Royals with a passing success rate of 89 per cent.
Only Whites 'keeper Kiko Casilla could better that with 20 out of 22 successful passes but White made 45 passes, 40 of which were accurate.
The 22-year-old had 56 touches of the ball for five per cent of the overall possession and won three out of his four attempted aerial battles with both of his attempted tackles also successful.
White was not dispossessed once and Luke Ayling's stellar display moving over from right back to centre-back ensured United were not hurt by White's departure from the centre of the defence.
Ayling, who was seen visibly organising the Whites, had 84 touches for 7.5 per cent of the game's possession and the second best passing success rate of any outfield player with 88 per cent as 59 out of 67 passes proved accurate.
Ayling won two out of four aerial battles and was successful with one out of his three tackles in what was also one of his best displays yet at centre-back next to skipper Liam Cooper with substitute Gjanni Alioski at left back and Stuart Dallas at right back, all three performing well.
It all meant that United were ultimately relatively untroubled by the loss of star man Phillips who then also posted a hugely encouraging update about his injury on Instagram on Saturday evening.
Replying to a post from Arsenal legend Ian Wright enquiring that he hopes the injury was not too serious, Phillips replied "all good Wrighty, just a dead calf."
That suggested Phillips might be back for Wednesday's clash at Middlesbrough.
One way or the other, with White also clearly getting better as a holding midfielder, the Whites ought to remain well equipped in the position for the clash at the Riverside.