There is a bit of rivalry to this one. Leeds play host to a Brighton side that stopped them signing Ben White on a permanent basis, despite three reported bids for the defender and the ex-Leeds loanee clearly wanting to make his temporary spell in Yorkshire a permanent one. Now, Marcelo Bielsa has provided a big boost ahead of the clash.
Sky Sports claimed Leeds made three bids to sign 23-year-old White in the summer, all of which were rejected. Leeds were even willing to pay as much as £25million for the defender, but were told no by Brighton. After sucking up his parent club’s decision, White put pen to paper on a long-term contract with The Seagulls – and is now set to face Leeds.
It saw fans converse on Twitter and with both clubs in and around the bottom half of the table, it is likely to be quite the contest come Saturday. The Whites will be desperate to win having suffered 3-0 defeats to Tottenham and then to League Two side Crawley Town last time out, an embarrassing result and one of the worst in the club’s history.
A clean bill of health is just what Leeds needed, then and Bielsa has told his pre-Brighton press conference – as per Leeds Live – that he has no new injury concerns ahead of the match. He also confirmed that Leeds will have the option of picking from captain Liam Cooper, Spain international Diego Llorente and Wales striker Tyler Roberts. Kalvin Phillips, of course, will be missing through suspension.
Asked if anyone was unavailable than just Phillips, Bielsa replied: “No, just Phillips.”
Although he did not mention it, Gaetano Berardi and Adam Forshaw are likely to remain sidelined as they are long-term absentees – though reports have suggested that Berardi could be fit by February.