Tom White thinking 'long term' at Hartlepool United with Blackburn Rovers' contract set to expire this summer

Tom White is looking beyond his initial 28 day loan spell at Hartlepool United.

Thursday, 11th February 2021, 4:45 pm

The 23-year-old midfielder made his Pools debut in Tuesday night’s 2-0 win over Solihull Moors at Victoria Park after joining on a temporary deal from Championship outfit Blackburn Rovers.

It’s the first time White has been back home playing football in the north east since leaving Gateshead in 2019. And he’s hopeful his return won’t just be a brief one.

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Tom White of Hartlepool United in action during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Solihull Moors at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Tuesday 9th February 2021. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

"The initial conversations I’ve had with the gaffer [Dave Challinor] have been more long term than just the 28 days,” he told The Mail.

“I think it does depend on what happens with the National League and how the voting goes but I’m definitely thinking more long term than just the initial one month.

He added following Tuesday’s win: "[The north east] is the best place in the world, honestly. I was lucky enough when I was at Gateshead just driving across the Tyne Bridge every day just thinking, wow what a place, what a journey to get into work every morning.

"So to be around the area again – my girlfriend probably isn’t happy because she’s from Blackburn but I’m sure she’ll be all right because I’m happy when I’m playing football and winning football games.”

White’s two-year deal at Blackburn Rovers is set to expire this summer, opening up the possibility of a potential permanent move to Hartlepool should his deal at Ewood Park not be renewed.

When asked about signing for Pools permanently, he responded: “You’ll have to ask the manager, it’s definitely at the back of my mind but we’ll see what happens.

"[Challinor] played a big part in me coming here and I spoke to a lot of the lads who have played under him. He did very well at Fylde and it’s no coincidence that we’re at the right end of the table so it was definitely a big draw.

"But obviously I know I’ve got to do my talking on the pitch before we can discuss anything long term.”

Although White has only been at Pools for a week, manager Dave Challinor is open to extending the midfielder’s stay.

“It could be longer absolutely,” he admitted.

“At the moment it’s short term solely based on the fact that we have no idea whether our season will continue so it’s something we’ll assess moving forward.

"From his perspective and Blackburn’s perspective, he was meant to be on loan at Bolton for the season but that’s not happened so even midterm we’d be looking at extending it and beyond that everything is open – it’s been well documented around the previous interest from the club and I know a lot about him.

"We know what he can do and for him, he’s still a long way short of his best if you like but that’s a pleasing part so it’ll be great to see where he’s at in five, six games time when he’s really match fit and hopefully producing performances that rebuild his confidence and show the full array of what his talents are.”

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