Leeds United midfielder Lew Bate spent the entire season on loan at Oxford United in League One this season and with the campaign coming to an end – the Oxford Mail summarised his year on loan, weighing the ups and downs.

Joining Leeds for £1.5m in the summer of 2021, Bate impressed in his first year – playing 23 times for the second string and then four times in the first team. Such form earned him a move to League One side Oxford out on loan.

While he struggled initially, Bate improved and became a regular part of Oxford’s midfield – playing 35 times. It may have been well above 40, but a broken bone in his hand in March curtailed his season. He had a hand in five goals.

The Oxford Mail summarised his season with the League One side, who avoided relegation to League Two with a 19th-placed finish – winning 47 points from their 46 games. They said Bate was impressive but lacked end product.

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“Neat and tidy on the ball from the beginning, Bate’s influence in the team picked up during the last couple of months in 2022, before carrying that on into the new year,” the Oxford Mail reported, when discussing Bate’s year.

“He formed a solid combination in the middle of the park with Cameron Brannagan and Marcus McGuane. While he was clever in possession and had a good range of passing, a lack of end product will surely be a sticking point.”

Oxford Mail summarise Leeds midfielder Bate after Oxford United loan

Bate now returns to Leeds – but has he done enough to break into the senior side? One thing is for sure and that is that Leeds lack options in the middle of the park. Weston McKennie is likely to return to Juventus this summer.

But the rest, well it depends on survival. It might actually help Bate if Leeds are relegated, if he aims on breaking in at Elland Road. Tyler Adams and Marc Roca may go, if Leeds go down. It opens up the chance for Bate to shine.

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