Ben White hopes grow for Leeds as Brighton bring in classy Ajax defender

Date published: Thursday 30th July 2020 7:24

Joel Veltman

Brighton’s capture of experienced Ajax defender Joel Veltman will raise hopes Leeds’ hopes that a deal for Ben White can be struck.

The Seagulls confirmed the capture of Veltman from the Dutch champions on Tuesday evening in a deal said to be worth a bargain £720,000.

The 28-year-old won three Eredivisie medals in Amsterdam. He was also named in the league’s team of the year on three separate occasions.

Having come through the Ajax academy, he has penned a three-year contract at the Amex.

“We’re delighted to welcome Joel to the club,” head coach Graham Potter said.

“He has terrific experience from his time with Ajax including the Champions League and, of course, with the Dutch national team.

“He’s an excellent defender who can play at right-back and at centre-half, but he’s also comfortable in possession.

“He is really looking forward to the challenge of playing in the Premier League. We’re delighted he is now a Brighton player and we’re looking forward to working with him.”

Although predominantly a right-back, the fact Veltman is equally adept at centre-half will give Leeds hope that a deal for White could be struck.

 

White seriously impressed on loan at Leeds in 2019-20 as they finally won promotion back to the Premier League. The Brighton-owned defender was ever-present, helping to ensure Leeds conceded fewer goals than any other team in the country.

However, his long-term future remains up for question. Potter has insisted White will be returning to the Amex after praising his achievements this season.

But with two years left on his deal, Brighton will have a decision to make about the 22-year-old.

Leeds are yet to make a formal approach for the player, who is rated at around the £25m mark.

Reports suggest, however, Brighton could look to accommodate White alongside Lewis Dunk. That could result in Shane Duffy moving on.

 

White message of thanks

Ben White

White has delivered his own message to the Leeds faithful about his year on loan at Elland Road. He admits he is unsure what the future holds, but is grateful for his time in West Yorkshire.

White wrote on Instagram: “Having had some time to reflect on what has been the most incredible season, I wanted to take the time to thank everyone associated with Leeds United Football Club, including the incredible supporters.

“No matter what happens I will never forget the way you took me in. I’ve been treated as one of your own.

“These memories and experiences will be with me forever.”

His message prompted a reply from Kalvin Phillips, which stated: “I love you” –  followed by a broken heart emoji!

Leeds, meanwhile, have been linked with a £15m swoop on Tottenham for Juan Foyth as a potential replacement for White.

 

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