In a recent interview with Football Insider, ex-Leeds United forward Noel Whelan has backed Everton‘s move to land Brighton & Hove Albion defender Ben White this summer. Whelan said, “Yeah, absolutely huge.
“He’s one of those natural, modern-day centre-halves that covers everything. He’s got pace, he’s good in the air, he’s great on the ball and with the ball at his feet.
“He can play into that defensive midfield role as well. We keep saying adapting to different roles and that’s why Gareth Southgate has him. It’s not just as a centre-half.
“It doesn’t surprise me. Everton know how important it is to have these British players as well in their side. Definitely, Rafa Benitez will.
“Whoever gets him is getting an absolutely amazing, long-term centre-half. I’m sure he’ll be in the England setup for many, many years.”
White’s Impressive Form At Brighton Last Season
The Poole-born defensive ace enjoyed a solid season with the Seagulls after putting in a series of commanding displays at the centre of Graham Potter’s defence. The 23-year-old picked up three yellow cards and one red card in 39 matches for his current employers in the previous campaign across various competitions.
White caught the eye for Brighton on the defensive end of the pitch based on his average of 1.4 tackles, 1.7 interceptions, 1.4 clearances and 0.7 dribbles per game in the Premier League last season. The English talent was even excellent with his ball distribution because he completed 83.2% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored). This was following up from his excellent campaign with Leeds United in the Championship, where he was by far the best defender in the entire league.
What Will The English Centre-Back Add To Rafael Benitez’s Team?
White can sense the danger quickly and excels at timing his challenges well to earn the ball back for his team. He doesn’t take too many chances with his clearances but can also be a composed presence on the ball when required.
The English defender has shown that he can play his way out from the back when the opposition are looking to press him high up the field. Hence, he ticks all the right boxes in terms of what it takes to be a useful centre-half option in Everton head coach Rafael Benitez’s squad next season.
At 23, the best is yet to come from White, so the Toffees might fancy making the most of his talents if they can lure him to Goodison Park during this summer transfer window. The Seagulls star is already good enough to compete with Yerry Mina, Ben Godfrey and Michael Keane for one of the centre-back spots in Benitez’s first team.
We can expect White to add more quality and depth to Everton’s squad, which might help them challenge for a top-six place in the Premier League next season. Hence, Benitez should think about going all out to land the Brighton defender this summer.
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