Jermaine Beckford has hailed the impact made by Ben White at Leeds United this season, telling Football League World that a player with the Brighton loanee’s self-assured style should fill his team-mates with supreme confidence.
Leeds fans might have been wringing their hands in concern when cult hero Pontus Jansson was forced out of Elland Road earlier in the summer but, while The Whites look a little vulnerable at set pieces without the man-mountain Viking of a centre-back, White has stepped into the void with ease.
The 21-year-old has been arguably Marcelo Bielsa’s most consistent performer in the opening weeks of the 2019/20 campaign, starting all six Championship games and standing out with his ability to play the ball out of the back like the second-tier’s answer to Aymeric Laporte.
No wonder Bielsa, a coach obsessed with possession, likes him. So does Beckford.
“He’s very composed and you know exactly what you’re going to get from him,” the former Leeds striker said.
“He fills you with confidence. If he’s in a one-on-one situation, you aren’t panicking or thinking ‘he’s definitely getting past him’. There are not many players that are getting past him, and if they do, it isn’t going to be an easy ride.
“I like him.”
Leeds have conceded just three goals in the Championship so far this season and only one of those, a deflected Andi Weimann drive during the 3-1 opening day victory against Bristol City, came from open play.
If White learns to dominate in the air like Jansson used to do, the pre-season title favourites could look almost impenetrable.
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