Leeds United are viewed as a more likely destination than Liverpool for Premier League wonderkid Lewis Bate after he told Chelsea he won’t sign a new contract, as reported by The Athletic.
At the age of just 18, one of the most exciting young midfielders in British football faces a decision that could define his entire career.
Get it wrong and Bate could become one of those cautionary tales, a player who moved too soon and is left to rue it for the rest of his footballing life.
Get it right, however, and a player without a single senior appearance under his belt could be featuring regularly in the Premier League as soon as next season.
Bate has just 12 months left on his Chelsea contract and, according to The Athletic, has no intention of signing a new deal.
Some at Stamford Bridge rate the London-born playmaker even higher than the much-admired Billy Gilmour but, with Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic still ahead of him in Thomas Tuchel’s pecking order, Bate believes he would be better off continuing his development elsewhere.
Should Lewis Bate choose Leeds over Liverpool?
Bate is unlikely to take the Daniel Sturridge, Dominic Solanke route, however, fearing a move to Liverpool would leave him in a similar position, stuck behind a number of proven Premier League performers.
The report adds Leeds and West Ham are the only clubs to have made an offer so far.
And, while Kalvin Phillips, Mateusz Klich, Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek won’t be easy to overhaul either, it’s easier to imagine a pathway to the first team presenting itself at Elland Road or the London Stadium than Anfield.
It didn’t go unnoticed that Bate has started following a host of Leeds players on Instagram too, with many Chelsea supporters convinced West Yorkshire will be his destination.