Leeds employee tips Bate to make debut 'soon' after what he's heard from Bielsa
Noel Whelan has tipped Lewis Bate to make his Leeds United debut “sooner rather than later” after Marcelo Bielsa’s rave review.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker and club ambassador suggested the 18-year-old would at least be on the bench in the near future.
Speaking about Bate at his press conference (30th September), Bielsa insisted the teenager was showing improvements in every game he plays for the Under-23s.
The Argentine heralded the youngster’s ability to retain possession and also his passing ability, claiming he could “threat it through (the eye) of a needle”.
A summer signing from Chelsea, Bate is yet to make a matchday squad for Leeds’ first team this season, let alone his debut.
However, he has played every minute for the Whites’ under-23s in their Premier League 2 campaign.
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Whelan admitted he was excited about the teenager’s arrival back in July.
He suggested a senior appearance may not be too far away after Bielsa’s glowing praise.
Asked if Leeds fans should be excited by the manager’s comments, Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “I was when he signed. I thought that was a great signing.
“We know how dominant Chelsea’s under-23s and youth team have been over a number of years now. You know he’s coming from a good crop.
“To come to Leeds, I felt this was another signing which we could see, probably, making his breakthrough into the first team sooner rather than later.
“Whether that’s on the bench, he’s a good young player doing good things in the under-23s.
“That’s what you want to do. You want players coming in, catching the eye of the manager and putting pressure on the first team.”