Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa

Alex Bruce has backed Leeds United defender Ben White to fill the midfield void left by Kalvin Phillips against Barnsley.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Whites centre-back believes the “excellent” 22-year-old has proven his ability as a reliable makeshift option in the centre of the pitch.

Leeds have confirmed that Phillips will sit out the rest of the season after picking up a knee injury against Swansea City last weekend.

White has previously deputized for the 24-year-old midfielder when he has been injured or suspended.

Having watched the centre-back perform admirably in his makeshift role in person, Bruce believes that the Brighton loanee has what it takes to see out the season in midfield.

Bruce told Football Insider: “I’ve seen him personally play there and he took to it with absolutely no problem so I’m sure that it’ll be a good replacement for Phillips.

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“Obviously it’s not his number one position, White, but he’s an excellent player and he can certainly do a job.

“I’d have no problem him playing there.” 

White, who has spent the season on loan from Brighton, has established himself as a firm favourite and has started every single one of the club’s Championship fixtures.

Phillips, who has only sat out six league games all season, will miss the games against Barnsley, Derby County and Charlton Athletic as the club sit on the brink of a return to the Premier League.

In other Leeds United news, Kevin Phillips reacts as club reportedly line up swoop for £40million striker.

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