Lewis Bate has told The Telegraph that he knows he has little chance of breaking into Leeds United’s side after just one season out on loan at Oxford United – ahead of Monday night’s clash that will see Bate’s Oxford take on Arsenal.

Bate, 20, joined Leeds in the summer of 2021 for a fee of £1.5million. One of the most-exciting English talents at his age, the midfielder chose to leave for Leeds. He was aware that he would struggle to get into Chelsea’s senior side.

The four-time England Under-20 international clocked up four first-team appearances for Leeds last season. But he went on loan to Oxford in the summer, who currently sit just above a relegation scrap in League One – in 15th place.

Ahead of Monday night’s clash, Bate gave his verdict on his chances of returning to Leeds in the summer and having a go at the first team. He says Leeds are a club he is in love with, but knows he may have to go on loan again next term.

Oxford United v Swansea City  - Carabao Cup First Round
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“Ultimately my goal is to break in at Leeds. If that’s not next season then hopefully it will be the season after. To walk back into a Premier League side with ambition after one season in League One probably won’t be enough for them.

“I found Leeds and fell in love with the club. I am nowhere near where I want to be in football. So, hopefully over the next few years I can get there. And, develop my game even more,” Bate said, who clearly has his feet on the ground.

Bate knows he has little chance of breaking into Leeds side after loan

It is a very honest claim from the midfielder himself. He could simply have said that he hopes to feature for Leeds next season. But he knows himself, more is needed. Bate probably does need another loan next season, a division higher.

That is, if he stands any chance of showing Leeds that he can handle playing for Jesse Marsch’s team. This season then, is about showing Championship clubs he has what it takes to go up a level. Against Arsenal, he can prove himself.

Leeds United v Chelsea - Premier League
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