John Egan is reportedly a target for Wolves and Sheffield United could do a lot worse than target Ben White as his replacement.
According to reports yesterday (The Sun, Print Edition, Sunday 9th February 2020, P63), Egan is a target for Nuno Santo. The interest from Wolves means Egan has now attracted glances from a number of clubs. Indeed, Everton were linked with the defender in December.
Egan has been at the heart of the Blades defence this season. That defence has conceded the second-lowest amount of goals in the Premier League. Only run-away champions-elect, Liverpool, have leaked less.
It’s little surprise, then, to see such interest mounting. But while most Blades will want to see Egan remain at the club and sign a new deal, Leeds United man Ben White could be the ready-made replacement for Egan.
The Premier League beckons
Regardless of if Leeds go up or if Brighton go down, Ben White will be a Premier League footballer next season. He’s been imperious for Leeds. Having replaced Pontus Jansson, he’s made the central defensive slot his own at Elland Road alongside Liam Cooper.
For a player of such a young age, it’s quite the feat at such a big club.
However, with Leeds once again struggling to keep pace in the promotion race and his parent club, Brighton, edging closer to the trap door, the door might be open for White to secure a move in the summer.
The likes of Liverpool have reportedly already watched the 22-year-old. But Sheffield United have just shown they are an attractive club with the addition of Sander Berge.
It’s not too unrealistic, then, to count the Blades out of the race to land one of the countries better young defenders.
Aerial dominance and reading of the game
In terms of aerial dominance, the Blades defence is one of the best in the league. Egan, Jack O’Connell and Chris Basham are all in the top ten for aerial duels won in the Premier League. Furthermore, Egan himself averages five clearances a game (Whoscored). Again, this puts him right up there on respective lists.
It makes sense for United, then, to seek a replacement who would fill that void. Ben White fits the mould perfectly.
This season White has made 3.6 clearances per game. Impressively, he’s also above Egan when it comes to making interceptions and tackles.
Another key facet of White’s game is how comfortable he is on the ball. Egan is also of the same ilk. Indeed, a lot of the Blades involve Egan being available for a simple pass.
While at Leeds, White is averaging over 50 passes per game. At a success rate of over 85%, it shows he is more than comfortable in possession. Again, he trumps Egan in both these statistical categories.
Of course, things will have to fall into place for a deal like this to happen. Brighton will likely only sell if they go down. Leeds will likely want first dibs on White if they can seal promotion. Finally, Wolves will actually need to buy John Egan.
However, in terms of the ideal replacement, Ben White could be the perfect fit for Chris Wilder’s men.