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another new role for aidan white

another new role for aidan white


Photo by May Sports Images

Leeds left-back/left winger/right-winger/false-nine Aidan White has moved on loan to Sheffield United until the new year.

Having seen the progress of White’s career so far, it wouldn’t be surprising to see new Blades manager Nigel Clough picking White in goal.

The failure to make a position his own in the seven seasons since he first broke into the Leeds team aged just 16 have made Aidy White into a somewhat directionless soul, despite the direct and pacy style that has always been his trademark.

Running really fast has been the one thing White could always do, but working out where on the pitch he should run from, and where to, has been the hard part for the various managers who have picked him for Leeds. In pre-season this year, and in the League Cup against Chesterfield, Brian McDermott even tried White behind the attackers as a vague imitation of Messi. It wasn’t an outrageous idea, as White’s goal against Everton a year earlier showed he could be inventive and skilful in attack, but the experiment was soon quietly dropped, as was White.

Left-back has always been the position Aidy White has looked at his best, with his attacking prowess from a defensive starting point attracting the attention of teams as diverse as Lille, Celtic and Werder Bremen before he signed a new three year contract with Leeds in summer 2012. Getting a run at left-back has been a problem since then, however, with Neil Warnock sending him to try the diagonally opposite right-wing position and signing Stephen Warnock to take over the left-back duties he is still performing this season, while White was strongly linked with a move to Blackpool over the summer.

Last season Sheffield United reached the League One play-offs, but after a run of ten games without a win – and only managing two draws in that time – they’re down in 20th, with only goal difference keeping them out of the relegation places. Nigel Clough has replaced David Weir, and turned to White as his first signing, claiming he tried to buy him while manager of Derby. “He’s a player that we know,” said Clough. “That was about 18 months ago so we’ll see what happens.”

From a Leeds point of view, what Aidy White can do for Sheffield United is not as important as what Sheffield United can do for Aidy White. A lot of Leeds fans have felt for a while that a run of games, in a position that would suit his abilities, would do White a world of good and get a stalled career back on track; there has been some nervousness around the idea of him having that run of games in our own first team, though, when Leeds as a team are struggling to put a run of form together. If White can get some competitive action with Sheffield and return with renewed purpose and form for 2014, then he could be like a new signi – no, I’m not going to say it.

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