By Dean White

20th Jul, 2021 | 4:10pm

Leeds beat West Ham in race to sign Chelsea teen Lewis Bate

Leeds United have beaten West Ham in the race to sign young midfielder Lewis Bate from Chelsea, according to Goal.

The football news website reports that Liverpool and Southampton are also interested in the 18-year-old, who has decided to sign for Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds.

It is understood that Bate rejected a new contract at Chelsea and is now on the verge of heading to Elland Road.

Will he come back to haunt us?

Everything we’ve read about Bate suggests that he’s someone who Chelsea will regret losing and someone we hopefully won’t regret not signing.

According to Goal, the England youth international “is widely regarded as the most talented midfielder from his age group” at Chelsea last season who has a terrier-like approach to playing and “is known for his leadership qualities”.

The London-born ace led the Chelsea Under-15s to a treble a few years ago and that led to him playing for their Under-18s at the age of just 15.

David Moyes could do with adding to his central midfield options this summer.

While we don’t foresee Tomas Soucek or Declan Rice leaving, Mark Noble is retiring at the end of next season and there are not too many options other than those three.

Moyes can drop some of the more attacking players back but let’s face it, we’d rather see more strength in depth there in terms of players who are natural at getting stuck in, winning back possession and sparking attacks from the deeper areas.

Soucek and Rice, as long as they stay, are bound to be our starting central midfielders next season but it would be good for someone like Bate to come in and learn from them.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as though it’ll be him but there are others out there who could even turn out better than the Leeds-bound sensation.

In other West Ham news, the Irons are keen to sign this 26-year-old after he was a mainstay for Barcelona last season.

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