Ben White may not be a name familiar to fans of the Premier League, but Leeds United supporters have ensured the whole of Twitter knows it over the weekend as they desperately seek a return to Elland Road fo the Brighton youngster.
After heading north at the start of last season, most Leeds fans will admit they had their doubts on if White – who spent the previous seasons on loan at Newport and Peterborough – was the man to replace Pontus Jansson in the heart of the Whites defence.
However, the on-loan Seagulls man quickly put those fears to bed and was an integral part of Marco Bielsa’s side that romped the Championship, winning the league by 10 points.
White also captured the club’s Young Player of the Year award, but unfortunately for the Elland Road outfit they were unable to negotiate a future transfer clause in his initial loan contract and the ball-playing centre back is due back at Brighton this week for pre-season training.
However, rumours have been swirling that White – who is thought to be on low wages at Brighton – has rejected a new contract proposal from his parent club. While all this has being going on, it’s also reported that Leeds have two bids of £18m and £22m rejected by the Seagulls as they aim to bring back White for their first season in the Premier League in 16 years.
— The Adelites 🏆 💛💙 (@theadelites) August 8, 2020
After hearing the club’s bids for White had been knocked back Leeds fans flooded onto Twitter and soon had the hashtag #FreeBenWhite as the number one trend in the UK, such is their level of sheer desire to retain the defender’s services. They even brought out a bloody mug to mark the occasion!
— TomDrawsThings (@TomDrawsThings) August 8, 2020
Leeds man holds back tears as hears of close family member going missing after family holiday, beloved to be held against his will in some backwater seaside town #FreeBenWhite pic.twitter.com/LEMcfqy7wQ
— super_leeds (@soy_super_leeds) August 9, 2020
However, Leeds are not the only team interested, with Liverpool and Chelsea also thought to be circling.
But, where will White end up next? Here’s what the markets are saying:
Despite having two bids rejected, Leeds remain favourites in the race to be White’s next club and to reunite the young English centre with Marcelo Bielsa.
Will the Twitter campaign pay off for Leeds fans? Only time will tell, but that’s certainly where the money is going at the moment.
Next in the market come Liverpool, and Jurgen Klopp has be long linked with White to come in to provide competition for Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
With Dejan Lovren having just headed out the exit door at Anfield, could White be the man to replace him at the Premier League champions? The odds say it’s a distinct possibility.
Oh, wouldn’t Frank Lampard just love this! What better way to welcome his old adversaries from his Derby days to the Premier League than by sticking another jab into the eye of Marcelo Bielsa and signing Ben White out from under the Argentine’s nose.
Media reports this weekend suggest the Blues boss is planning just that and if he doesn’t get him, no doubt we’ll hear Lampard whine about anyway.
It might seem like a left field shout for Brendan Rodgers and The Foxes to pick up White, but Wes Morgan and Jonny Evans aren’t getting any younger and White may just be the perfect signing to freshen up the Leicester back line.
Rodgers is likely to spend the next few weeks fending off bids for left back Ben Chilwell, so a signing like White could be the perfect way to keep Leicester fans onside if they were given an offer for Chilwell they just couldn’t refuse!
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