Ben White wouldn’t have been Leeds United fans’ choice to replace the Swedish colossus that was Pontus Jansson. He was a young, relatively untried youngster and Jansson a Swedish international. Apprehension and worry were definitely the key feelings when it was announced that White was effectively Jansson for this season
That brace of doubtful feelings has been swept away by performance heaped on accomplished performance as White has grown in stature at Elland Road. He’s featured in every minute of each of 39 games this season; impressing in all and even when playing as a defensive midfielder.
It is, however, a love affair that will turn sour because of one simple thing. Leeds United have done their job too well. Under Marcelo Bielsa, has turned White from that untried youngster into a £20million+ rated central defender said to be interesting the Premier League’s top two sides in Liverpool and Manchester City.
The Athletic’s Phil Hay has said that Leeds United still want to bring White to Elland Road on a permanent basis but the chances of that happening are pretty slim.
Something else Hay said in his article is of relevance though, in that it gives a possible direction that Leeds are thinking of in looking for a Ben White replacement. Hay wrote: “As they did with White, they would like to go British or to find someone with a good understanding of how British football works.”
With that in mind, here are five young, English central defenders whose contract end in 2021 who Leeds United might want to consider to replace Ben White.
Five young, English centrebacks for Leeds United to consider to replace Ben White
Dael Fry (Middlesbrough); 22-year-old Fry has featured in 97 appearances for Middlesbrough since stepping up from their Under-23s. 29 of those appearances have been for a Boro side struggling against relegation this season. Despite their lowly position, Fry has caught the eye for the Teessiders.
Tosin Adarabioyo (Manchester City): 22-year-old Mancester City centre-back Adarabioyo is highly thought of at the Etihad although he is fighting a wall of talent in front of him. He has spent two seasons out on loan at West Bromwich Albion (36 games/2 assists) and Blackburn Rovers (30 games/3 goals/1 assist). That loan is ongoing and Leeds will get a clsoe-up look at him in two games time.
Jack Simpson (Bournemouth): 23-year-old Simpson has struggled his way to the first team at the Cherries. Since breaking through, the Weymouth-born centre-back has made just 23 appearances for Eddie Howe’s side. 11 of those have been in the Premier League, 4 of them coming this season.
Cameron Carters-Vickers (Tottenham): 22-year-old Carter-Vickers has spent much of his Spurs career out on loan to Sheffield United, Ipswich, Swansea, Stoke and now Luton Town. He’s only made four appearances in total for Spurs first-team but has caught the eye at strugglers Stoke City (15 games) and Luton Town (9 games) in this season’s Championship. He is also an 8-cap USA international.
Japhet Tanganga (Tottenham): 21-year-old, London-born Tanganga is a 7-cap England Under-20 international who has broken through to the Spurs first-team set-up this season. He has made 6 Premier League appearances for Spurs since coming into the squad and onto the bench for the Brighton game in late December. He is adaptable and has played across the back four this season as well as a game as a right-sided midfielder.
Cost a lot to get that type of player.
No, not at all.
There’s someone out there, options.