Whelan thrilled as Leeds pull off 'really exciting' coup as Bate signing is finalised
Leeds United have pulled off an “exciting” coup by signing Lewis Bate from Chelsea, according to Noel Whelan.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted he was seriously excited by the midfielder’s potential.
Leeds announced Bate’s capture on Thursday (July 22nd), with the 18-year-old signing a three-year deal at Elland Road.
The teenager was a regular for Chelsea’s under-23s last season as they finished 2nd in the Premier League 2 Division One table.
Whelan admitted the Blues’ academy had done “exceptionally well” in recent years, with the likes of Reece James breaking through the ranks.
As such, he claimed Bate was a “really exciting” signing for Leeds.
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Asked if Leeds had pulled off a coup with Bate’s signing: “I think so.
“When you look back on the under-18s and under-23s of Chelsea over the years, they’ve dominated in those sectors.
“This is a really exciting, promising young player coming from a very good background at Chelsea.
“The under-18s have done exceptionally well for a number of years.
“The fact he’s 18 but playing in the under-23s shows what a prospect he’s going to be.”
Bate played 20 times for Chelsea’s under-23s last season, primarily in a defensive midfield role.
He is yet to make his senior debut, although he was an unused substitute three times at Chelsea.
Bate has played for both England’s under-17s and under-18s to date.
He was also part of a training camp for the England under-19s back in March.