Ben White has been described as clearly the best centre-back in the Championship by the man who helped sign him on loan.

But Leeds United director of football Victor Orta has revealed his successful season was “a millimetre” away from getting off on the wrong foot.

White is set to return to Albion for pre-season after helping Leeds win the Championship title.

He quickly became a massive favourite among Leeds fans, many of whom want him to stay at Elland Road.

In an interview with Radio Marca in Madrid, Orta (pictured below) said White played with eye-catching confidence from the start. 

The Argus:

The Spaniard said: “We knew him, we loved him, in League Two when it was the first loan to Newport, when last year he hardly played at Peterborough on loan again. We always liked him.

“But the first day we played at Bristol City with Ben White because Berardi was suspended.

“A boy who had never played a Championship game in his life.

“He got the ball in minute two and, in his classic way bringing the ball out, because we know that he likes to risk, he took a little too long.

“Famara Diedhiou's pressure is coming, he is beaten by a millimetre, he (White) changes the play and it ends up with a clear chance for us to score.

“And the fans behind the goal start to scream like crazy.

“What would have been if Famara Diedhiou touched the ball with the tip of the boot and we’re losing 1-0?

“The next game we’re going up against Forest and it would have been, 'Ben White, an inexperienced player in the centre of the defence'.

“And now he is the best player in the league, for me, with (Brentford forward Said) Benrahma and (West Brom midfielder) Matheus Pereira, and with all my team.

“But it is clear that he has been the best central defender in the league and has a great future.

“Often that is the difference between success and failure.

“Therefore, you can’t get carried away with either.

“I will have failed, I will have been successful with players, but all with the peace of mind that I have done it with an honest and loyal working group."

Radio Marca reporter David Fernandez, who carried out the interview, told The Argus he did not ask Orta about White’s future or any Leeds bid to sign him more permanently.

Fernandez said: “We took it as understood that White will definitely return to Brighton.

“What a player Potter will have next year!”