Robbie Keane issues his honest verdict on Lewis Bate's display for Leeds
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Robbie Keane issues his honest verdict on Lewis Bate's display for Leeds

Robbie Keane has told Sky Sports (broadcast on 16/1; 16:13) that Lewis Bate played really well as Leeds United beat West Ham on Sunday, insisting that the midfielder has a very bright future ahead.

Marcelo Bielsa’s men edged an incredible five-goal thriller at the London Stadium. Jack Harrison bagged a superb hat-trick for the visitors.

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Unfortunately, it was not a perfect afternoon for Leeds. They lost both Junior Firpo and Adam Forshaw to injury during the first-half. It was Bate who replaced the latter, making his Premier League debut in the process.

The midfielder had given a good account of himself the previous week in the FA Cup. And he looked even better this time around. He looked incredibly energetic whenever he got onto the ball. And he showed no fear when he was in possession and perhaps surrounded by West Ham players.

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Bate’s afternoon ended midway through the second-half as he was replaced by Rodrigo. He looked very disappointed to be taken off. But he did receive a pat on the back from Bielsa.

And following the game, Keane insisted that the 19-year-old can hold his head up high.

“Just a little mention, the young lad Bate who got taken off, before that, he was actually playing very, very well,” he told Sky Sports. “Nothing to be ashamed of there, absolutely not. That was more of a tactical situation, bring a bit more experience on. He’s got a very, very bright future, nothing to be ashamed of there.”

Lewis Bate set for many more chances in Leeds side after bright Premier League debut

Bate will likely have to be patient for more opportunities. In truth, he probably would have had to have waited longer for his debut were it not for injuries.

But he has now shown that he is good enough for first-team football. West Ham are one of the best teams in the Premier League. And Bate did not look out of place at all at the London Stadium.

Bielsa may opt for Rodrigo should Adam Forshaw not be available to face Newcastle later this month. But Bate has proved that he is a genuine option for the Leeds boss over the coming months.

And it may not be too long before Leeds fans are seeing Bate featuring a lot more often in the first-team after he proved a real point against the Hammers for the second week running.

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