Chelsea's new signing Timo Werner scampered free down the left and made dangerous inroads into the Brighton penalty area.
The German international had White isolated one-on-one and Werner was in a similar position to one Aaron Connolly found himself in just before he fired home his brilliant second in the memorable 3-0 win against Tottenham last season.
White however was too shrewd to be exposed in the same manner as Toby Alderweireld was that day. The Brighton man was alert, on his toes and as he back-tracked he kept his eyes firmly on the ball.
Werner, who joined for £50m and is on a weekly wage of around £175,000, momentarily assessed his options when White picked the perfect time to make his challenge. He took the ball cleanly, the danger was over and Brighton had the opportunity to start the counter-attack.
Premier League managers often talk of transitions these days. Nicking possession and swiftly moving forward while the opposition are in attack mode is more vital than ever and White is better at this than most.
Last season during his impressive loan spell at Leeds White had the joint-most shot ending sequences with 29, he had the second most progressive carries into opposition half with 88 and the third most progressive carries from goal kicks with 31.
In short, not only can he thwart an attack but he also has the composure and ability to bring the ball out and set Albion moving forward - a crucial part of Graham Potter's tactics.
The 1-1 draw was White's first outing for Brighton after a summer of intense transfer speculation. Leeds wanted to sign White on a permanent basis and had three separate bids north of £25m rejected by Albion.
The club want White to play a key role for Potter this season and have offered the 22-year-old a vastly improved five-year contract. It is expected to be signed this week.
It will add nicely to the five-year deal agreed by skipper Lewis Dunk and it's easy to see the duo forming the fulcrum of the Albion defence for the next few seasons at least.
On Saturday, White was on the right side of a defensive trio alongside his skipper Dunk and Adam Webster, who looked fairly comfortable on the left. Joel Veltman, a summer arrival from Ajax, was the right wing back with Solly March on the left.
It’s an option for us," said Potter on the prospect of playing three at the back this season. “With Ben, with Lewis (Dunk), with Adam (Webster), with Dan (Burn), with Shane (Duffy).
“There’s possibilities there so it is something we can look at.”
“He (White) has got on with his work, he enjoys being with the players, he enjoys football. He just wants to get on and play football as well as he can.”
It was however a shaky start as the back three were caught square after just three minutes and Werner quickly opened his account on his Chelsea debut with a crisp finish from Callum Hudson-Odoi's knock down.
White was also caught in possession a couple of times during the first 45 minutes and one hopeful cross-field pass was easily intercepted when a simple ball into midfield would have maintained possession.
But it was an encouraging run-out and the 2,500 Albion fans were certainly pleased to see him in action at the Amex in the number three shirt after Leeds supporters had had their fun with their summer #Free Ben White campaign.
White is 6ft 1in but he is not the most physically imposing defender such as a Shane Duffy, Dunk, Webster or a Dan Burn. He is however strong, nimble and very athletic.
He glides across the pitch and his tactical awareness - honed by Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds last season - will make him a real asset for Albion.
He worked well with Dunk and they instinctively interchanged positions as they largely coped well with a potent Chelsea attack that included Werner, Hudson Odoi, new £40m signing Hakim Ziyech and Reuben Loftus-Cheek, who played in an advanced role during the first half.
Sometimes for a club like Albion, it's not who you buy but who you retain. Keeping White and Dunk could potentially prove the most significant transfer business conducted by Brighton this summer.
A message from the Editor, Gary Shipton: In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news, I am asking you to please purchase a copy of our newspapers.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspapers.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.
Stay safe, and best wishes.