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Marcelo Bielsa praises Lewis Bate who looks a ready-made replacement for Kalvin Phillips

One question that has plagued Leeds since Marcelo Bielsa took over back in 2018, is who will be the backup to Kalvin Phillips?

Adam Forshaw has played there before, as has Pascal Struijk and Robin Koch. Even Mateusz Klich and Jamie Shackleton have filled in there on occasion. Leeds need someone who is tailor made for that role, and they may have found it in Lewis Bate.

Bate joined the club from Chelsea’s academy this summer, and has been impressive in the club’s under 23 games so far this season. Bielsa himself acknowledged Bate’s performances in his pre-match press conference, saying: “He performs better every time in the games he’s a part of. He’s a player who is constantly managing the ball and he doesn’t lose it very often”.

It would appear his passing ability is also excellent, as Bielsa mentioned: “He has a good sense of a pass. He can thread it through the eye of a needle”.

Leeds have been longing for a backup option for when Phillips gets injured or suspended, and from the sounds of things they finally may have found one – no pressure Lewis!

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