Leeds United would have to pay in the region of £15million if they were to try and sign defender Ben White on a permanent deal right now, according to Noel Whelan.

The former Leeds striker and lifelong fan of the club, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, says that the Brighton loanee has shown he has all the qualities to become the complete centre back as his career progresses.

The 21-year-old arrived at Elland Road on a season-long loan from the Premier League outfit this summer and has quickly established himself as a firm favourite of Marcelo Bielsa.

Whelan says that the defender has proven his worth to the Whites with his early-season performances and that Brighton could easily demand in excess of £10million for his capture if a deal were to be agreed today.

Asked what he thought White would cost right now, Whelan told Football Insider: “In a couple of years he’s going to be the complete centre half and it’s really exciting we’ve got him. I’m a striker but I love watching him play. 

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“It’s such a difficult one (to put a price on him). The way he’s playing right now, you’re definitely looking at the £10-15million bracket, £15million probably. It’s still early doors, there’s a long, long season to go.

“All the attributes of the modern-day centre half, he’s got. He likes a challenge, he’s strong and aggressive, his ball distribution is fantastic. He’s somebody if he keeps progressing the way he is, there will be a big figure.”

White has played every one of Leeds’ fixtures this season, starting all but the League Cup clash against Stoke City in which he featured as a substitute.

He has never played for Brighton’s first-team, having spent time on loan at Newport County and Peterborough in recent seasons.

In other Leeds United news, Whelan has told Football Insider that a “surreal” development looks fantastic for the club.