Leeds United are closing in on the signing of Chelsea starlet Lewis Bate, and it’s one that Marcelo Bielsa will love.
Reports in recent days have suggested that the 18-year-old is keen on an exit from Stamford Bridge this summer in a bid to find a club who can offer him a better pathway into the first team.
It was suggested that Bielsa’s side were one of those interested in signing him, and it now appears that Victor Orta and the Whites will get their man.
Goal’s Chelsea correspondent Nizaar Kinsella has revealed via Twitter: “Lewis Bate is accelerating towards Leeds. Medical could come as soon as tomorrow as the clubs thrash out a deal. #CFC”
At just 18, the midfielder has all the potential in the world to develop into a real star at Elland Road if given the right opportunities.
The Athletic said: “Bate is one of the most highly-rated midfielders in the country, coming close to making his debut for the senior side when he was named on the bench against Sheffield United and Bayern Munich last year.
“Leeds’ hopes are growing that they could win the race for his signature but are aware of the competition. Significantly, Bate has started to follow a number of Leeds players on Instagram.”
According to Ram Srinivas, co-founder of football analytics consultancy MRKT Insights, Bate has all the hallmarks of being someone to take over from Kalvin Phillips in years to come.
He said: “Bate is a well-rounded deep-lying midfielder; he’s well capable of helping a team control possession, acting as a metronome to keep things ticking over as well as being very productive in build-up. He’s very positive in his passing and shows good awareness of the spaces opening up around him and team shape, which helps his team play out of a press and also attack the opposition in transition.
“All in all he’s just a multi-faceted midfielder whose biggest weakness is probably just his size but he more than makes up for it with his other qualities. He’s very well-suited to Bielsa-ball and probably capable of serving as an understudy to Kalvin Phillips.”
That last line on him being “very well-suited to Bielsa-ball” is sure to have the Leeds manager excited at the prospect of working with him, especially given the success he has had in transforming Phillips from a Championship player into a genuine England star.