Ben White's current manager knew Albion had something special when he saw their teenage defender get stuck into a crunching League Two 50-50 tackle.

Now Newport County boss Michael Flynn has told the Seagulls they might just have another defensive diamond coming off their production line.

Ben White, 19, is off to an outstanding start to his season-long loan at Rodney Parade after being sent out by Albion to gain experience.

He had time at right-back, centre-back and left-back on his return to Sussex on Tuesday as County won 2-1 at Crawley.

But it was the manner in which Flynn spoke about him afterwards which made ears prick up.

Flynn is talking in terms of possible international honours for the boy from Poole, who Seagulls fans will have seen in under-23s action as well as the League Cup so far.

That would make him the latest graduate from a centre-back school which has already brought through Premier League and Championship regulars like Adam Virgo, Tommy Elphick, Grant Hall, Joel Lynch, Steve Cook and current man-of-the-moment Lewis Dunk.

Flynn is a battle-hardened midfielder who played at Championship level and below for Wigan, Blackpool, Gillingham, Huddersfield, Darlington, Bradford and Newport.

He knew White would be well schooled in the finer arts of the game by Simon Rusk’s under-23s set-up and the academy managed by John Morling.

What he wants to see is the steel to get through a tough winter.

He told The Argus: “The one thing I was worried about was could he tackle?

“A couple of weeks ago at home he has gone and put in an outstanding 50-50 tackle, come out with the ball and put a 40-yard pass on to a team-mate’s chest.

“I’m glad we have got him for the whole year. He is an outstanding talent and he is somebody I’ve got a lot of time for because of his attitude “He trains with the right attitude every day and he has got a very bright future.

“I don’t like putting pressure on young people but I’d be surprised if he didn’t go on to get a full international cap.”

Of course that should be the headline – Albion prospect tipped for England.

Except that would be to misrepresent the context in which Flynn was talking as he chatted at a near-deserted Checkatrade Stadium.

An international goal is there for way off in the future.

The current headline fact is that the youngster is getting the grounding which could, one day, take him to lofty heights.

Asked what White would learn this season, Flynn said: “Real football. Consequences of results. The physicality of league football. He is learning the horrible part of the game.

“There are a few people I know and talk to at Brighton– the academy manager, the assistant manager (ex Cardiff boss Paul Trollope).

“It suits Brighton that he comes and gets experience and it definitely suits us because he has come down here and been brilliant.”

White was on the bench for the 3-3 draw at Stevenage on the opening day of the season and has started nine out of nine since then.

He told The Argus: “It’s an amazing experience. You can hear the crowd and it’s nice when you are really under the cosh and you hear the fans and you get back up. I’m a player who likes the ball at my feet. The opponents are all hard.

“They are all big and they can all win headers. That’s what I need to get better at.

“The people here have all been amazing, especially the gaffer.

“A couple of other clubs at this level were wanting me on loans.

“As soon as I spoke to him, I knew I wanted to come to Newport.

“I like the togetherness.

“We win, we lose, but we are all the team and we go again next week.”