This July, Leeds announced they had signed Bate from Chelsea on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee. In the announcement, the club claimed he was sought after by a number of clubs, having been with the Blues for the past 10 years.
Addressing the topic on a Leeds United Live Facebook stream, Cross explained the expectations the 18-year-old will have of himself after signing for a rival Premier League club.
He said: “Lewis Bate is considered one of the best players in Premier League 2 from last season. He captained Chelsea on several occasions and anybody that follows youth football knows that Chelsea’s academy is outstanding. They regularly win trophies, and Lewis Bate was at the heart of that last season.
“So once he gets settled into Leeds and gets used to the system, he is somebody that will be coming to Leeds, and he will be hoping, if not expecting, to make it into the first team, if not this season, if not next season, the season after that. He’s still very, very young.”
TIF Thoughts on Lewis Bate and Leeds United…
With a number of caps at youth international level also to his name, Bate has all the makings of a future star. No doubt, many Leeds fans will be hoping to see him get a shot at first-team football over the next few seasons, if not sooner.
However, judging by Cross’ comments, it may be a while before he is able to earn a place in Marcelo Bielsa’s first-team plans.