Will Aidan White still be at Leeds next season? (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Leeds' young left sided player Aidan White is a member of the squad at Leeds United that divides opinion amongst most followers of the Whites. He's a player with lots of potential but many view him as a player who more often than not flatters to deceive and with the news breaking today that he is set to be offered a new contract for the second time it is has got me wondering whether that is the right decision.Leeds born White made his debut for the Whites as a 16 year old during a 4-0 win against Crystal Palace back in 2008. The Republic of Ireland under-21's International has gone on to make over 50 appearances for Leeds since then under Gary McAllister, Simon Grayson and now Neil Warnock but it has only been this campaign that White has broken into the first team on a regular basis for United. The sight of White on a regular basis has been the catalyst of much debate between Leeds fans.
Since bursting onto the scene at Elland Road, White has enjoyed a loan spell at Oldham Athletic under the guidance of one time Leeds player Paul Dickov. It was at Boundary Park where White scored his first goal in senior football and despite scoring a further three goals for the Latics, the product of the Leeds academy is yet to find his first goal for the West Yorkshire club.
This brings me round to the first flaw I believe that White possesses. White has at some stages of this season, effectively been used as a replacement for Max Gradel on the wing for United but unfortunately, White doesn't have the killer blow that the Ivorian so often delivered last season on his way to scoring 18 goals. There is one occasion that particularly sticks out in my mind at Coventry away when White was brilliantly teed up by Ross McCormack and with the scores level at 1-1, it was a chance for Leeds to take control of the game. Unfortunately for United, White's tame effort failed to even resemble that of a shot and Leeds went on to lose the game. There are other examples of White's inability to deliver a final ball after he has done well to get himself into the position. It's almost as if he gets so far and hits a wall or gets confused. He gets into these positions using his pace, which is something not many players in the current Leeds squad have but in my opinion fails to utilise it by being unable to apply the final ball.
Don't get me wrong, White has made great strides since his arrival on to the scene in 2008 and to be playing regularly in the Leeds United side at just 20 is a massive achievement for the youngster. There is still every possibility that he will make the grade whether that be going forward or defending remains to be seen. After White has been in and around the team for 4 years, I think it is time to ask the question as to whether he has what it takes. At the start of the season, White was putting in some good performances in a Leeds shirt and really made the left back spot his own. However, as the season progressed it is my belief that his performances have deteriorated and at times, United's number 28 has been found wanting. This could be down to a number of things, perhaps White has become complacent about his place in the team? Maybe as the season has gone on, the 20 year old has become fatigued?
With the news breaking today that White could miss the remainder of the season and with his contract expiring at the end of June, we could have seen the last of Aidan White in a Leeds shirt. However, Leeds are set to offer white a second contract proposal after the first was rejected earlier in the season. Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Neil Warnock confirmed: "We're finalising a contract offer to him. He should be getting that in the next seven days or so". It looks like the club have decided they want White to stay but with the likes of Norwich reportedly interested in the youngster, will he be tempted to following the likes of Bradley Johnson and Jonny Howson out of Elland Road? Would it be such a bad thing if he were to leave or are the club right to do their utmost to keep him at the club and allow him to continue his development at Elland Road? I feel it is worth offering White one last contract extension to see if he's got what it takes. He is certainly a useful player to have in your squad, I'm just not sure whether he is good enough to be playing week in, week out.
This of course is only my opinion, but what do I know!? Let us know what you think in the attached poll!
Should Leeds United retain Aidan White beyond his current contract?
Yes, Aidan White is the next big thing at Leeds. (4 votes)
No, It wouldn't be the end of the world should White leave Leeds. (1 vote)
Yes, White should stay because he is a useful squad player to have. (10 votes)
Why are you even asking? Most over rated player since Seth Johnson, get rid! (1 vote)
16 total votes