Sources: Klopp & Lijnders purr at White display as £40m Liverpool bid plotted
Jurgen Klopp and Pepijn Lijnders purred at Ben White’s display for Brighton during their recent 1-0 win against Liverpool, Football Insider understands.
The defender was part of a defiant Seagulls rearguard that kept out the-then malfunctioning Anfield attack earlier this month.
Adam Webster and Lewis Dunk were hailed for their multiple clearances and blocks as yet another Premier League side returned from the once impregnable Anfield fortress with a narrow win and all three points.
But a Liverpool source has told Football Insider that manager Klopp and his number two Lijnders were “hugely impressed” by White once again.
His composure, assurance striding forward with the ball, mobility and outstanding distribution caught their eyes.
White has been tracked by Liverpool’s talent-spotters over the last two seasons, with Football Insider first revealing in October 2019 they were keeping tabs on him while he was dazzling for Leeds United on loan in the Championship.
The source explained the Seagulls defender remains on their radar ahead of the summer window.
He signed a new Brighton contract last summer that runs until 2024 after being the subject of three failed bids from Leeds – the third worth £30million including add-ons.
Klopp opted not to buy a centre-back last summer following the sale of Dejan Lovren but that is likely to be corrected in the next window unless loanee Ozan Kabak makes a huge impression over the next few months.
White fits the profile of the type of defender Liverpool are targeting.
He can carry the ball forward long distances and is very comfortable distributing it under pressure, so much so he has been used in midfield on a number of occasions by Graham Potter and former boss Marcelo Bielsa.
His game is built on his awareness, mobility, timing and outstanding distribution.
Those are qualities Klopp and Lijnders value highly, although his lack of height – White is only 6ft – is a sticking point for a team who have been hugely diminished by the absences of giant duo Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip for most of this season.
However, he is certainly durable.
White was an ever-present in Leeds’ Championship-winning campaign, remarkably playing every single minute of their 46 matches.
He has followed that up by starting 23 of Brighton’s 24 league matches this season in the three-man defence usually deployed by Potter.