Leeds United will be “devastated” they were unable to prise Ben White from Brighton this summer, according to Alan Hutton.
The former Aston Villa and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes the Whites would have been reluctant to move on from their former loanee as they sealed a deal for Robin Koch.
As confirmed by Leeds on Saturday, the Germany international put pen to paper on a four-year contract to complete his move from Bundesliga outfit Freiburg.
✍️ #LUFC are pleased to announce the signing of Robin Koch from Bundesliga side SC Freiburg
— Leeds United (@LUFC) August 29, 2020
As revealed by Football Insider last week, the Whites agreed to sign the 24-year-old for a fee in the region of £12million after they failed with their three bids to re-sign White from their new Premier League rivals.
Hutton admits missing out on their former star is a hammer blow to Leeds but insists they could not wait around to try and force a move that was not going to happen.
Asked how disappointed Leeds would be to have to move on from White, Hutton told Football Insider: “Yeah, they’ll be devastated. People all agree on how well he played last season – a young, talented boy but the fee was through the roof, it was always going to be difficult to tie him down.
“I think he’s an excellent player but you can only wait so long, you see it at clubs, they have their number one target that they’re desperate for, they put out what you think would be a decent offer but it was turned down point-blank.
“They have to move on, they have to get their squad ready for the start of the season and you can’t just let a transfer grumble on for weeks and weeks, it upsets everyone within the camp and the player himself. They’ve had to move on.”
White, 22, played 49 times across all competitions for Leeds last season but is yet to make a single Premier League appearance.
Meanwhile, Koch has 82 Bundesliga games under his belt as well as two caps for Germany.
In other Leeds United news, it can be revealed a rival wants to poach a first-team star from Elland Road.