Having made his name with a loan spell at Leeds United, Ben White has quickly grown into national consciousness. The youngster has grown from an impressive loanee at Leeds, starring in a Marcelo Bielsa side, to become a player who was called-up for England in May. Such is the rise of the 23-year-old, though, that bids are expected to arrive this summer from the top clubs in England.
With Leeds unable to make a deal stick for the player last summer, Brighton gave White gametime under Graham Potter with impressive results. The defender became a crucial cog in a Seagulls side who managed to stay up with relative comfort whilst playing expressive, intelligent football. However, White was a key performer, often being one of the most composed players on the park. For a player playing his first season of regular Premier League football, it was a hugely impressive showing.
However, with Brighton expected to see a few key names leave this summer – including midfield engine Yves Bissouma – there are worries that White could also be cashed in upon. Reports suggest that a variety of teams, including Arsenal and Manchester United, would be happy to enter bidding to pick White up.
As a young international who has improved and shown versatility in the systems he can be deployed within, White offers an appealing upside for any side. However, a long-term deal with Brighton and the chance to already gain international recognition where he is might make it hard to seal a deal. Given the impressive resume of Potter, too, working for a coach who is such a natural complement might remain quite appealing.
Still, with reports of bids as large as £40m being rejected, per Sky Sports, this could become a saga.
Is Ben White likely to leave Brighton and Hove Albion?
Given the massive funds that back Premier League sides, it is hard to sway a team with cold hard cash alone. Therefore, it often comes down to two factors; the desire of the player to leave, and how likely a similar standard replacement can be sought whilst still turning a profit. Given White went from a lower league prospect to an England international within two seasons, it is fair to say that Brighton understand his value.
At a young age and with international recognition, too, White is a player with a growing reputation. And should teams from the upper echelons of the English top-flight get involved, it could see the player encourage a move. However, given the reports suggest a bid from Arsenal has been rejected already, the hope might be that a bidding war erupts.
Given the paucity of English players at the top clubs at present, too, there will be interest in picking up some domestic talent after a likely successful European Championships campaign for the national side. Brighton, then, might find opportunity in what otherwise might have felt like a lose-lose situation for a club still establishing its presence within the Premier League.
For White, though, it is another example of the massive, rapid rise of one of the finest young defenders in the English game.