Leeds United teenager Lewis Bate could be fast-tracked into the first-team squad, according to Leeds Live journalist Joe Donnohue.
What's the latest news involving Bate?
The 18-year-old has been an ever-present in Leeds' Under-23 side this term, playing at the heart of the team's midfield.
He has also represented England Under-20s on multiple occasions in recent months, but he is yet to be make his debut for Leeds' senior team.
However, manager Marcelo Bielsa has handed opportunities to other promising talents such as Joe Gelhardt and Crysencio Summerville this season, and Donnohue has hinted that Bate may get his chance to impress in the not-too-distant future.
What has Donnohue said about Bate?
Donnohue has suggested that Leeds would normally give Bate a couple of seasons to bed into their youth setup before making the step up to the first-team.
He has claimed that it may be different with the former Chelsea man, though, as Leeds could look to bring him into the senior side earlier than first anticipated.
Speaking about Bate, Donnohue told GIVEMESPORT: “He’s very much another one who is going through that two step, two-year process. He’s probably one, given his talent, that would maybe be accelerated ahead of time in that system. He’s played extensively for the Under-23s so far this season but hasn’t made the first-team bench.”
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Is Bate closing in on making his first-team debut at Leeds?
Leeds have tended to rely on a small squad under Bielsa's guidance, and that approach has been tested this season with a number of players picking up injuries. The likes of Kalvin Phillips, Patrick Bamford and Luke Ayling have all spent time on the sidelines, which may explain Leeds' slow start to the campaign.
At the moment, Bielsa's men seem to be just about coping, with the Argentine showing his tactical flexibility by using Pascal Struijk in a central midfield role at times.
There is no doubt that the squad is a little stretched, though, and the manager may have to consider promoting some more players from the youth team to add some depth to his playing staff.
This could see Bate get his opportunity soon, as Leeds look to put their disappointing form behind them, and start pushing up the table to try to match the 9th-place finish that they managed last year.
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