Andrew Kearns – CameraSport/CameraSport via Getty Images

Brighton and Hove Albion technical director Dan Ashworth has told the club’s official website that Ben White will return to the Premier League oufit after his loan spell at Leeds United concludes at the end of the season.

Ashworth has been impressed with the progress and development of White at Leeds so far this season.

However, the Brighton technical director has made it clear that the club plan to keep the 22-year-old central defender for years to come.

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Ashworth told Brighton’s official website: “We’ve been delighted with his progress and Leeds have done a fantastic job with him.

“He’s done really well, and Leeds have done great in helping him develop – he’s played a lot of matches. We’re not surprised at how well he’s done, and we rate him highly. 

“He signed a new deal last summer before he went out [on loan] so when he comes back, we’ll see where we are, but he is part of our plans and a talent we’ll be looking to keep for a number of years at the club.”

Chris Vaughan – CameraSport/CameraSport via Getty Images

Blow for Leeds United

Ashworth’s comments on White’s future will come as a blow to Leeds’s plan to sign the 22-year-old on a permanent contract in the summer transfer window.

Leeds chairman Andrea Radrizzani recently suggested on Twitter that he plans to make an offer for the youngster this summer.

According to WhoScored, White has provided two assists in 37 Championship matches for Marcelo Bielsa’s side so far this season.

Football in England is suspended at the moment due to the global health crisis, and it remains to be seen when the season resumes.

Leeds are at the top of the Championship table at the moment, and if and when the campaign gets back underway, they will be determined to clinch automatic promotion.

Meanwhile, former Leeds star Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has said that if the club fail to clinch promotion to the Premier League for the 2020-21 campaign, then it would be a big problem for the club.

Leeds Live quotes Hasselbaink as saying: “I have followed Leeds very much this season and I have done a lot of games for them [as a pundit] as well.

“After last year when they just didn’t make it, if that was to happen this year it would be a big problem for Leeds itself as a club and their sustainability.”

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In other news, Has £52k-a-week loanee just dropped a hint regarding Arsenal career?