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EFL pundits compare Leeds United star to record-breaking Manchester City and United men

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EFL pundits Keith Andrews and Andy Hinchcliffe have both likened Leeds United’s on-loan starlet Ben White to former Leeds man Rio Ferdinand and Premier League big-hitter John Stones.

Having sold Pontus Jansson to Brentford in the summer of 2019, there was a huge hole in the backline for the Whites which Marcelo Bielsa and Victor Orta needed to plug before the start of the season.

They landed on the relatively unknown Brighton youngster Ben White as their replacement, which was greeted with some scepticism based on his lack of experience at Championship level up to this point, having previously been at Newport County and Peterborough United.

However, from the first game against Bristol City, it was clear that Leeds had a talent on their hands that was only destined to climb even further up the footballing ladder. A great blend of robust defending coupled with confidence to play from the back made him the perfect inclusion into Bielsa’s tactical system.

There has been a lot of speculation about where his future lies with the Seagulls adamant they will keep hold of the centre-back for the coming seasons, but with Leeds extremely keen among a host of Premier League clubs including title-hopefuls Liverpool, the South Coast side have a battle on their hands to keep him beyond the summer transfer window.

Leeds have had a host of talented defenders pull on the white shirt throughout history, especially with their European exploits around the turn of the millennium, so it’s no surprise that White is being compared to some of the top defenders to break through in England, and a certain English transfer record-breaking one from Leeds.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Keith Andrews sung the praises of White and drew comparisons from his performances. He stated: “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.”

Former Sheffield Wednesday man Andy Hinchcliffe was in agreement with this sentiment and added to the comparison. He said: “I totally agree with Stones and Ferdinand but also, you put a bit of John Terry or Gary Cahill in there, which I think he’s got, imagine the centre-half. 

“I would say, if you’ve got a centre-forward on the edge of the box, looking to drill a ball goalwards, is he going to throw himself in the way? And he will throw himself in the way. He doesn’t just see himself as a ball-playing centre-half.”

While Hinchcliffe admits White is an exceptional talent, he’s aware that his Championship form and overall potential has to be taken with a pinch of salt that he hasn’t set foot in the top flight yet. He continued: “You are putting pressure on a player who is well thought of anyway but you start thinking Stones, Ferdinand, Cahill, Terry, people start thinking this guy is the new Franz Beckenbauer. 

“He’s earned his stripes in the lower leagues and I think that’s hugely beneficial to him but clearly the talent that he’s got, he’s a Premier League footballer and he needs to play against Sergio Aguero, Harry Kane. 

“He needs to play against these world-class centre-forwards because Premier League centre-forwards are a different animal compared to anything else he’s faced.”

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Leeds United season ticket holder since 2013/14, currently situated in the middle of the FA5 noise. From Pablo Hernandez to 5-1 drubbings, I've seen it all at Elland Road.