West Ham in hunt to sign 18-year-old Chelsea midfielder Lewis Bate
West Ham want to sign 18-year-old midfielder Lewis Bate amid uncertainty over his Chelsea future, according to the Daily Mail.
The British newspaper claims the Irons are among a quarter of Premier League clubs – including Liverpool, Leeds United and Southampton – who are leading the chase for the left-footed “dynamo” [Goal], having “registered their interest”.
Bate is currently delaying on signing a contract extension, and that has led to “uncertainty” over the England Under-19 midfielder’s future at Stamford Bridge.
Bate is a young talent that has gained considerable traction for his performances in recent years, and West Ham will know all about his talents after he played for the Chelsea Under-23 side in a 1-1 draw against the Irons Under-23s at Rush Green in April [West Ham official club website].
It looks like the club will face heavy competition in the race to sign him, but could the Irons have a possible advantage of their rivals?
Initially, Bate is likely to be thrust into the Under-23s side of whoever he joins, at least for matches.
However, he might stand a better chance of breaking into the Irons first-team squad than the other parties interested.
David Moyes’ side will be playing European football this season, after last season’s sixth-place heroics earned them a Europa League berth.
As such, there will be more opportunities for Bate to play than at Leeds or Southampton, who will just be playing domestically.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have the likes of Thiago Alcantara, Fabinho, and Jordan Henderson in their midfield, among many others, and will be playing higher up in the Champions League.
Mark Noble, Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice are the only senior options for the Irons in the middle of the park, and Bate may just view that as an enticing opportunity to break his way into the squad.
In other West Ham news, English player desperate for Irons move, club to make decision within days.