Oxford United boss Karl Robinson is said to be an admirer of Leeds United midfielder Lewis Bate.
Robinson is currently preparing Oxford for another season in League One, with the hope of crashing back into the top-six during the 2022/23 campaign.
Last year, Oxford finished eighth in the league and seven points adrift of the play-off picture. Robinson’s side face Derby County on the opening day of the League One season next weekend.
Turning attention to recruitment at this moment in time, the Yorkshire Evening Post have outlined Robinson’s admiration of Bate at Leeds.
Bate has been left behind as Leeds’ squad jetted off for Australia for their pre-season tour, with this same report suggesting that the former Chelsea midfielder is pushing for a loan move after conversations with Jesse Marsch.
The midfielder’s aim is to heighten his game-time in a senior environment as he looks to push forwards at Elland Road.
Bate, 19, featured only three times in the Premier League last season for Leeds after making the move to Elland Road from Chelsea 12 months ago – his first top-flight start came against his former club in May.
The teenager also played in Leeds’ FA Cup third round defeat to West Ham United, taking his first-team involvement to four appearances last season.
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Bate could be a really shrewd pick up for most League One sides – Oxford included.
The midfielder is technically gifted, with great ability to retain the ball. In the right side, looking to play the right way, he will be a real asset in a double pivot, moving the ball and team around the pitch well.
There might be slight concerns over Bate’s physicality for the division, yet he needs to take that plunge into senior football at some point and 22/23 feels right for him.
He fits what Robinson wants Oxford to look like and could be a fine addition.
Thoughts? Let us know!