Former striker Gabby Agbonlahor thinks Lewis Bate has the potential to force his way into the Leeds United team in 2021/22.

The young midfielder secured a summer move to Elland Road after rejecting a contract extension at Chelsea.

It’s believed he saw no route into the squad under Thomas Tuchel. The German already has N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho available in central midfield, while Billy Gilmour will return from a loan spell at Norwich next year.

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When asked if Bate can have an impact on Marcelo Bielsa’s side, Agbonlahor told Football Insider: “Yes, 100 per cent.

“You’ve got to keep working hard and show what you can do. That’s all you can do.

“Just keep performing in the Under-23s games. This is definitely the time for young players to be given a chance in football. Year by year, it’s getting more fashionable for young players to get a chance.

“It’s a good time to be a young player and you’ll get your chance.”

Bate is a highly-rated 18-year-old who was one of the gems in Chelsea’s academy before his exit.

Reports have suggested that Blues coaches saw him as a better prospect than Gilmour was at the same age.

Bate is one of several young players to have left Chelsea in recent weeks.

Talented centre-back Marc Guehi joined Crystal Palace in deal worth £18million, while AC Milan have completed the signing of Fikayo Tomori for £25m following a successful loan spell.

Academy player of the year Tino Livramento could soon follow in their footsteps. The defensive starlet is close to leaving for Brighton, where he will compete with Tariq Lamptey for a place in Graham Potter’s starting eleven.

Leeds, meanwhile, have had an exciting transfer window so far.

The Yorkshire club made Jack Harrison’s loan deal from Manchester City permanent at the start of July.

The left winger notched 16 goal contributions in the Premier League last term.

Leeds also pounced on the financial troubles at Barcelona by capturing full-back Junior Firpo for £12.8m.

He will replace Ezgjan Alioski in the side and will link up with Harrison on the left flank.


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