What Hearts fans should know about new signing Aidy White
Hearts made a surprise announcement on Friday afternoon, sealing a deal to sign left-back Aidy White on a contract until the summer of 2021.
The former Republic of Ireland youth international is the 21st signing of the 2018/19 season, though manager Craig Levein has already stated that he sees the player as someone for the future as White looks to get back to full fitness following a prolonged period out of the game.
With White having previously played for Leeds United and Barnsley, we asked Joe Urquhart from the Yorkshire Post to give us the lowdown on the new Hearts defender.
What kind of player can Hearts fans expect?
Aidy White came through the Leeds United academy at the same time as Fabian Delph and was hotly tipped to have a big future in the game similarly to the Manchester City utility man.
White is a very pacey and direct player with his speed being one of the key things that made him such a dangerous individual during his time with United. It is hard to know whether he will still possess quite the same pace after a serious battle with multiple injuries.
Is he an attacking full-back? Can he play on the wing or, at least, at wing-back?
He can play as a full-back or as a winger. During White’s time at Elland Road he was very much an attacking left-back but also saw action on the right of midfield.
He’s been without a club for almost two years and hasn’t played since January 2017. What was the injury and how has he been out for so long?
After an injury-hit spell with Barnsley he was released but has spent a lot of time with the club continuing his rehab with the Tykes.
He has struggled with a hip injury that has caused a number of complications over the course of the past two years.
He’s played only 167 games in a ten-year career. Has he always struggled with injuries?
Simply put, yes.
During his spell with Leeds he always showed a lot of promise but would breakdown with a fresh problem each time.
He was heavily linked with Premier League clubss as his first contract at the Elland Road was running down after finally stringing a season together, showing fantastic form, but he struggled with more injuries after he put pen to paper on a new deal in 2012.
He seemed to enjoy a strong run in the Leeds team between 2011 and 2013. How did he fare in the Championship at that time?
His pace was a real asset at Championship level and he nailed down the left-back spot under Simon Grayson in 2011/12. White, though, suffered with cramp caused by nervous anxiety during his stint, but his showing over the course of the season saw him rid himself of this issue.
From what you know, when he was able to play for Barnsley, how did he perform in League One?
By all accounts he did well during his short spell there.
He helped Paul Heckingbottom’s side win the Johnstone Paint Trophy and also the League One play-off final at Wembley in 2016.
Is there any chance he can return to his former level or have the injuries hampered him too much?
Never say never but ultimately he just needs to start playing football again.
Two years is a long time to be out of the game and with his injury history it will be interesting to see if his body can adjust to playing week in week out.
Anything else you can tell us about him?
His one and only goal came for Leeds against Everton in the League Cup at Elland Road (in the YouTube video above).
The strike showed everything that was promised of White in his career with Leeds using his pace as he drove into the area before curling a shot into the top corner of the net from just inside the box.
He also won Leeds United’s Young Player of the Year award in 2010.