England U19 international Lewis Bate is joining Leeds United from Chelsea, according to LeedsLIVE. A modest fee of £1.5 million comes with add-ons and a sell-on clause for the 18-year-old England youth international. A host of clubs have been in for Bate but the Yorkshire outfit will manage to secure the highly-rated youngster for the upcoming season.
Lewis Bate to Join Leeds United From Chelsea
How Has Bate Ended up at Leeds United?
Chelsea Correspondent Nizaar Kinsella confirmed that the deal has been agreed: “Leeds will pay around £1.5m for Bate. But there are add-ons and a sell-on fee percentage due for Chelsea too.”
Bate will be the latest Chelsea youngster to leave Stamford Bridge after deciding there was little hope of making the first team. Chelsea had offered an improved contract but Bate turned it down, so the club decided they needed to cash in. The Athletic reported that: “It was rejected because he wanted to join a club where there was a better pathway and vision for him to play first-team football.”
Lewis Bate the Next Billy Gilmour?
There is talk that Bate is every bit as talented as another Chelsea youngster, Billy Gilmour. Gilmour, too, was frustrated at a lack of playing time and has just moved to Norwich City on loan for the season. Bate is two years younger and so still developing and has time on his side.
By Lewis Bate joining Leeds United from Chelsea, he is moving to a system where the U23s are regularly utilised in the first-team squad. They train together and they play together. And in Marcelo Bielsa, he has a coach who understands the power of youth and who likes to promote it whenever possible.
A Better Pathway to First-Team Football
Make no mistake, Bate will start in Leeds United’s talented, newly promoted U23 side. But the route to the first team is there before him, and the U23s are a fixture on the bench with the first team every week.
There is a host of talent in the Leeds United academy right now and Bate will fit in perfectly with some of the talent at the club. Bate trained with a majority of them at an England U19 camp back in March this year and came off the bench against the Arsenal U23s in a friendly.
Waiting With Bated Breath
Leeds United had to battle with West Ham United, Liverpool, Leicester City, and Brighton & Hove Albion, who all wanted the England youngster. But along with recent academy purchases Amari Miller and Sean McGurk, the Bielsa effect has sealed the deal.
Leeds United have already secured the likes of Jack Harrison and Junior Firpo this summer, and with Lewis Bate, they are certainly keeping an eye on the future. Illan Meslier, Pascal Struijk, Tyler Roberts, Jamie Shackleton and Ian Poveda are all proof that Marcelo Bielsa has no problem putting young players into the first-team fold.
Maybe Lewis is next in line. The Elland Road faithful will be waiting with bated breath.