Phillips claims Leeds new boy Bate is so 'exciting' he could soon be worth jawdropping £50m
Kevin Phillips insists Lewis Bate is so “exciting” he could soon be worth an astonishing £50million to Leeds United.
The Sunderland legend, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claims the 18-year-old was not signed for the Whites’ Under 23s side.
On Thursday (July 22nd), Leeds confirmed Bates’ signing and stated “a number of clubs” were interested in his services.
The Athletic report the Whites have beaten West Ham United, Liverpool, Leicester City and Brighton & Hove Albion to the midfielder.
Phillips claimed Bate could follow a similar career path to Ben White, who has spent time on loan at Leeds in recent years.
As reported by Sky Sports (19th July), Arsenal have agreed to sign the defender in a £50million deal from Brighton and the Phillips insists Bate could develop just like White did.
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“He’ll be in and around that first team for sure,” Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.
“I’ve always said Bielsa knows what he’s doing in the transfer market. He won’t be signing a player like that to stick him in the Under 23s.
“What’s the point in that? Under Bielsa he will certainly develop, we’ve seen it happen countless times.
“Look at Ben White and how he improved there, a year or so later and now he’s a £50million player. This kid could soon do the same.
“He’ll get minutes next season. I don’t know an awful lot about him but you have to trust Bielsa.
“He’ll be exciting to watch next season.”
Leeds’ record sale is Rio Ferdinand, who cost Man United £30million when he signed in the 2002-03 season.
The former centre-back is the only player in United’s history to have been sold for more than £15m, the sums paid for Chris Wood and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.