Leeds United loanee Ben White has been compared to former Elland Road hero Rio Ferdinand by Keith Andrews, telling Sky Sports that a likeness can also be made with Manchester City’s £47.5 million man John Stones.
Leeds fans up and down the country were once again questioning the wisdom of Victor Orta last summer.
The divisive director of football moved to replace commanding captain Pontus Jansson with an unproven youngster who had spent the previous season on loan at Peterborough.
But, while it is fair to say Orta’s record in the transfer market is rather mixed, the deal to sign White for the Whites was nothing short of a masterstroke.
Not only is the Brighton loanee pretty much tailor-made for Marcelo Bielsa’s possession-based principles, he has also looked a sizeable upgrade on the tub-thumping yet erratic Jansson.
And Andrews, whose frank criticism of the ‘Spygate’ scandal have made him a persona non grata in West Yorkshire, has only positive things to say about arguably the best defender in the Championship.
“If you go to Leeds United, you have to replace Pontus Jansson who is a cult hero at that football club,” says ex-Bolton midfielder Andrews, comparing White to a pair of centre-halves who have lifted Premier League titles on both sides of the Manchester divide.
“How do you react week in, week out to playing at that type of level, that type of intensity? He’s passed (all of those questions) with flying colours.
“I think when you look at the profile of him as a centre-half, the thing that sticks out is what he does on the ball and the comparisons maybe in recent seasons are John Stones, Rio Ferdinand when he was a young player.
“That elegant way they have of stepping out from the back and picking the right passes more often than not.”
Whether White remains a Leeds player for next season too remains to be seen.
His ball-playing style makes him a perfect fit for Graham Potter at his parent club Brighton, while Sky have suggested that Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool could make a bid for his services in the summer months.