Graham Potter insists there was never any disappointment from Ben White that he couldn’t return to Leeds this summer.
White enjoyed an excellent loan spell at Elland Road in the 2019-20 campaign. The defender was ever-present in the Championship as Leeds gained promotion.
Leeds had been hopeful of securing a permanent deal for White ahead of their return to the Premier League. However, Brighton did not want to sell to a club who are now a direct rival.
The South Coast club turned down a number of bids from Leeds, the largest of which was in the region of £25m.
Therefore, White ended up signing a new contract at Brighton instead. It means his first taste of top flight football will be in a Seagulls shirt.
After his new contract was announced, White gave a heartfelt interview reflecting on the “time of his life” at Leeds.
However, speaking before Brighton’s first game of the season – against Chelsea on Monday – manager Potter insisted that White, contrary to claims from his agent recently, has never shown any signs of discontent about not being allowed to return to Leeds.
“There was no disappointment at all from Ben at any stage,” Potter told a press conference.
“I think he came in day one and trained perfectly with us, no problems whatsoever with his behaviour with all the speculation, he just got on with it and that’s the type of guy he is.
“It is his first season in the Premier League and we are looking forward to seeing him and helping him [take on that challenge].”
White has been at Brighton since joining their academy from Southampton in 2014. He made his professional debut in the EFL Cup in August 2016, but spent the next three seasons out on loan.
After his spells with Newport County, Peterborough United and Leeds, White will soon get his first taste of Premier League football.
Liverpool to monitor White this season
White’s form in the second tier meant that Leeds were not the only club interested in taking him from Brighton.
Premier League champions Liverpool – Leeds’ first opponents this season – watched White on several occasions during 2019-20.
And Liverpool will continue to monitor White’s progress in his first Premier League season, according to reports.