Lewis Bate already seeing Leeds United’s difference to Chelsea after first-team backing

Expectations for Lewis Bate at Leeds United are very different to what they were at Chelsea with grand hopes already set out for a first-team breakthrough.

The 18-year-old is currently away with England’s under-20s and giving himself time reflect on his opening six weeks at Thorp Arch.

Bate has seen out all 90 minutes in each of the three Premier League 2 matches United have faced so far, with two wins and one defeat.

With all of the summer talk on transfers around central midfielders at United, there was a sharper focus on what role Bate was going to play this season.

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Despite his young age and inexperience, one school of thought felt Bate may have been the missing man, the midfielder expected to immediately come into the starting line-up.

That was never the plan and Bate’s immediate integration with the under-23s under Mark Jackson has shown the midfielder should be on the path familiar to so many of the youths at the academy.

Chief executive Angus Kinnear was the first to stress the difference in expectations between Elland Road and Stamford Bridge, where there was little chance of a first-team breakthrough this year.

Ahead of the Everton draw, Kinnear said: “We are confident that players of the potential of Crysencio Summerville, Sam Greenwood, Cody Drameh, Joe Gelhardt and Lewis Bate will have a first-team impact across the coming season and will be at the heart of the club’s medium-term success.”

While a first-team impact, in Kinnear’s view, should come in the months ahead, Bate’s current boss has opened up on the youngster’s initial integration.

As well as those new expectations he is having to adapt to.

Speaking after last week’s win over Derby County at Loughborough University, Jackson said: “Like everybody, there’s always things they (Bate) can work on.

“They’re in that stage of their careers where everything won’t be perfect, but he’s settled in well.

“He’s played the three games now and he’s had a feel for it and he’s getting a feel for the way we train, how we train and the expectations of him as a midfielder, I’m sure, are different to what he had at Chelsea.

“He’s slowly getting to grips with it. He’s been really, really positive and it’s good to see he’s fitted in with the group really well.

“We have a good bunch here who can fit in, everyone welcomes them and help them. He’s getting the support from the staff, but we’re pleased with how he’s progressing.”

England’s under-20s, including Cody Drameh, Joe Gelhardt, Sam Greenwood and Bate, are in action on Monday at St George’s Park where they face Romania.

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