Leeds United youngster Lewis Bate sent on loan for experience

Leeds United midfielder Lewis Bate has joined League One Oxford United on loan in search of more first-team experience.

The 19-year-old made his Premier League debut last season but with a host of midfielders joining in the summer, it was felt best for his development if he dropped down a couple of divisions for regular game-time.

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Bate signed from Chelsea 12 months in a deal thought to be worth around £1.5m and although game-time was limited, he did catch the eye.

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IMPRESSIVE: Leeds United's Lewis Bate caught the eye last seasonIMPRESSIVE: Leeds United's Lewis Bate caught the eye last season
IMPRESSIVE: Leeds United's Lewis Bate caught the eye last season

His first-team debut came at West Ham United in the FA Cup third round, and he followed it with a substitute appearance against the same opponents in the

Premier League seven days later.

His best work came as a half-time substitute at Arsenal, in a game where Leeds were reduced to 10 men thanks to an early red card to Luke Ayling. Bate provided more composure and control than his more experienced team-mates and was rewarded with his first Premier League start three days later.

That was an even more difficult day, as Leeds lost 3-0 to his old club and Bate was withdrawn for Mateusz Klich on the hour. It was his fourth and last outing of the campaign.

He was on the bench for the crucial final match of the season but forward Sam Greenwood was prefered in midfield as Leeds claimed the 2-1 win at Brenford that kept them in the Premier League.

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This summer Marc Roca, Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson have been added to the Leeds midfield, prompting question marks over Klich's future at the club.

Bate is not the first promising youngster to be loaned out, with centre-back Charlie Cresswell scoring twice on his Championship debut for Millwall at the weekend.