By Noel Whelan

17th Oct, 2019 | 10:00am

'The new Harry Maguire' - Whelan: 'Brilliant' Leeds youngster can hit heights of £80m star

Noel Whelan has claimed Leeds United youngster Ben White is such an accomplished defender he can hit the heights of Harry Maguire.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United forward explained how he is such a big admirer of the 21-year-old signed on a season-long loan from Brighton.

White has started all 11 of Leeds’ Championship matches this season and taken to life in the second tier with aplomb.

Whelan believes the centre-back is being superbly educated by Marcelo Bielsa and is capable of achieving big things in the game.

“Ben White ticks every box,” Whelan told Football Insider. “He is a brilliant defender who’s only going to get better in the years ahead. He does everything really well – mobile, athletic, great distribution, confident on the ball, makes good decisions, his positioning is good.

“He is not as dominant in the air as centre-backs like Harry Maguire and Pontus Jansson. But he is better on the ball than Jansson and just as good as Maguire.

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“He’s probably better than Maguire was at 21.  Can he be as good as him? Absolutely, he can be the next Maguire.”

This comes after Football Insider revealed last week that Liverpool are monitoring White as they assess long-term centre-back options.

White, who was named the PFA Championship player of the month for August, spent the two previous campaigns out on loan in League One and League Two with Peterborough United and Newport County respectively.

Maguire became the world’s most expensive defender when he was signed by Manchester United in August for £80million from Leicester City.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that the club are plotting a swoop for a multiple player-of-the-year winner.