Leeds United’s director of football, Victor Orta, claims Sergio Ramos was impressed by Ben White’s early performances even before he made his Premier League debut for Brighton.
The 23-year-old is currently in England’s squad for Euro 2020 and is one of Arsenal’s top transfer targets for the summer.
The Gunners have already submitted two offers for White, the latest being a deal worth £45m, but Brighton are understood to be holding out for a £50m fee.
White spent the 2019-2020 campaign on loan at Leeds United and played a key role in the team’s Championship-winning season under Marcelo Bielsa.
Before joining Leeds, White also had loan spells at Peterborough United and Newport County and Orta claims that Ramos, who is leaving Real Madrid after 16 years this summer, had seen the centre-back in action for the Welsh club.
‘I give you an example, Ben White. He was the best player this year [in the Championship], if not best, top five. For me the best. Now he’s in the England squad,’ Orta told The Phil Hay Show.
‘Ben White doesn’t play one game in the Championship before.
‘The loan at Newport was really good and when we start to monitor because we were watching, to be honest, I feel impressed.
‘I remember in the first moment Sergio Ramos said, ‘who is this kid? playing in the line of Newport’. And was really impressed.
“Even at Brighton [people said], ‘he’s soft, he cannot play in the Championship’.
‘But we think the skills he has fit for us, in terms of distribution, quick – all the style of our special centre-backs.’
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