If you’re good enough you’re old enough. Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has lived his life by that mantra during 40 years in coaching and he’s not going to change now at the age of 65.
So if Lewis Bate is concerned he risks stunting his development by extending his stay at Chelsea, it’s hard to imagine a more fitting destination than Elland Road for this 18-year-old midfield general.
According to the Daily Mail, West Ham, Liverpool and Southampton have all taken a keen interest in Bate, who has just 12 months left on his Stamford Bridge contract.
But there’s surely only one reason why England U18 international Bate has suddenly started following Mateusz Klich, Patrick Bamford, Stuart Dallas and Stuart Cooper on Instagram.
After all, there can’t be too many Chelsea players taking a keen interest in what Tyler Roberts or Ian Carlo Poveda get up to after those weekly ‘murderball’ sessions.
Could Bate be leaving Chelsea for Leeds?
And while Chelsea supporters are understandably disappointed at the prospect of seeing another highly rated, home-grown player depart, following in the footsteps of Fikayo Tomori, Marc Guehi and potentially Tino Livramento, few would begrudge Bate should he swap the sterilised world of academy football for a first-team slot at Elland Road.
You only have to look at the progress Kalvin Phillips, Luke Ayling, Patrick Bamford and more have made since 2018 to realise that, in Bielsa, Leeds have a prodigious developer of talent working wonders in West Yorkshire.
Here’s what some Chelsea fans on Twitter had to say about the Bate-to-Leeds rumours: