Leeds Transfer News: Highly-rated talent completes move to Elland Road

Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa on the touchline

Leeds have completed the signing of Chelsea midfielder Lewis Bate, as confirmed by the club's official website.

What's the latest transfer news on Bate?

The 18-year-old had been attracting attention from a host of Premier League clubs recently, including West Ham, after it emerged that he was unwilling to extend his contract at Stamford Bridge, which was set to expire next year.

Leeds have fought off competition for his signature, though, and after undergoing his medical yesterday, the transfer was officially announced this morning.

What has Phil Hay said about Bate's move to Leeds?

Prior to the deal being completed, Leeds correspondent Phil Hay provided some details on the signing and gave his thoughts on whether Bate would be a success at Elland Road.

Taking to Twitter on Thursday morning, he wrote: "Lewis Bate set to be confirmed as a Leeds United player today. Club will pay Chelsea £1.2m for the midfielder. Deal includes a substantial sell-on clause. Potentially a very good signing."

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Was signing a defensive midfielder a priority for Leeds this summer?

It was reported back in May that one of Leeds' top priorities this summer was to add a holding midfielder to their ranks.

The club currently have Kalvin Phillips at their disposal for this position, who showed his class during Euro 2020 by starting all seven of England's games on their run to the final.

However, the 15-cap international did miss nine league games due to injury last term, and Leeds lost seven of those matches, highlighting how they struggled when Phillips was unavailable as they did not have a natural replacement for him.

Bate is familiar with playing as a defensive midfielder, so he could be the player to provide cover for Phillips in 2021/22.

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Is this transfer a good sign for Leeds' future?

After enjoying an excellent campaign in 2020/21 when they secured a top-half finish, it would be easy for Leeds to simply focus on the present and trying to push even higher up the table next year.

Yet the addition of Bate indicates that they are also looking to the future, which is a positive sign. Having been out of the top-flight for 16 years between 2004 and 2020, Leeds will now want to establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League once more.

By bringing in a highly-rated youngster like Bate, it suggests that they are keen on building a team that can be competitive for years to come, and this approach puts out the message that Leeds are here to stay, and have no intention of dropping back down the divisions any time soon.

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