Leeds United player appears to send farewell message in social media post after play-off participation

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Leeds United-owned midfielder Lewis Bate has thanked Milton Keynes Dons fans on social media platform 'X' after his loan at the League Two club came to an end following their elimination from the League Two play-offs.

MK Dons were beaten handsomely by Crawley Town in their play-off semi-final, losing out 8-1 on aggregate over two legs.

Bate joined the club on loan during the January transfer window after spending the first half of the 2023/24 campaign with Leeds' Under-21 group.

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The ex-Chelsea youngster sees his contract at Elland Road expire this summer, but in a message to Dons fans, does not sound as though he will be returning to stadium:mk next season.

"Thank you to the players and staff @MKDonsFC for the past few months," Bate wrote. "Also to the fans thank you for welcoming me in from day 1. I apologise for how the play offs went for the team but I’m sure the club will be back soon!"

Bate appeared 22 times for the League Two outfit, a year on from a relatively successful loan spell with League One side Oxford United.

While the player's future appears to lie away from Elland Road, there is no ruling out a late contract offer from Leeds if the club are to remain in the Championship next season. United are yet to announce their retained list for 2024/25, although it is widely expected Bate will be released and free to find another club at his choosing, most likely in League One given his prior experience and potential.

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Dons fans responded to Bate's post, wishing him well for the rest of his career. 'X' user @pdmkd wrote: "Absolute baller Lewis. Wish you could come back but no doubt you will be at a higher level. Best of luck for the future."

@charliemkd1 said: "Wherever you head to next is lucky to have you, cracking player and thanks for this season."

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