By Joe Ellis

5th Aug, 2022 | 6:10am

Leeds United starlet Lewis Bate could have been loaned to a Championship side

Lewis Bate has left Leeds United on loan for Oxford United but he could have played in the Championship, according to Joe Donnohue.

The deal to send the 19-year-old to the Kassam Stadium was announced on Thursday (4 August) after he arrived at Elland Road last summer for a fee of £1.5million from Chelsea.

The Yellows play in League One at the moment and are expected to compete in the top half of the table as they have done over the past couple of seasons under Karl Robinson.

But Bate could have chosen to play in the second tier with Championship teams also interested in his services but he personally picked this specific move after talks with the management.

“This is a move chosen by the player after speaking with managers about style/gametime,” Donnohue said via his personal Twitter account. “Championship clubs were interested – not all of them well-run, either – but Bate was most convinced by what Oxford had to offer.”

Great decision

It might seem odd to pick League One over the Championship but it is actually a very smart choice on Bate’s behalf and credit has to go to everyone involved in the decision.

While the opportunity to test himself against high-quality opposition in the second tier has its obvious upsides, the chances are he would be playing for a side fighting towards the bottom of the league.

That would mean less possession and chance to express his talents on the ball whereas in League One with Oxford, he should have much more of the ball and be able to affect each result at the right end of the pitch.

At this stage in his career and with the style of play Jesse Marsch wants to pay at Elland Road, it would be pointless for Bate to go and play as a defacto defender in a team that are always up against it.

In other Leeds United news, this forgotten Whites man was surprised to hear that clubs wanted him on loan as he tries to find fitness after a long injury layoff.