Ladies and gentlemen, Lewis Baker has (apparently) left the building.
After fourteen years with Chelsea and multiple loans — and just one day after news surfaced that Leeds united were interested in him — the midfielder finally has a permanent home, pending official confirmations.
This is nothing but good news for Baker, who at the age of 23, is surely ready for a new chapter in his career, especially after last season’s Middlesbrough experience. Terms of the transfer are undisclosed at this point, but it’s hard to imagine that Chelsea made a big deal out of the transfer fee. Would be excellent to have included a buyback clause however.
Leeds United are also close to adding another Chelsea player, goalkeeper Jamal Blackman. The 24-year-old, who spent last season on loan to Sheffield United, posted an image of himself in his Instagram story outside Leeds’ training center, Thorp Arch.
Leeds have been searching for a new goalkeeper and when their attempts to lure David Stockdale from Birmingham fell through, they moved on Blackman. It’s thought that this isn’t a purchase but a season-long loan.
It would be Blackman’s fifth loan, following spells at Middlesbrough, Östersund (Sweden), Wycombe and finally Sheffield United, where he backstopped for the The Blades in their first season back in The Championship. He made 33 appearances overall, conceding 35 times. He had a rough start and was benched for ten games, but when Simon Moore was sent off at the beginning of February, Blackman was given a second chance. He did not relinquish his starting spot until, weirdly, being sent back to Chelsea just before the end of the season.
Come one @SUFC_tweets do not lose @Big_Blacks at the end of the season get him in that number one shirt we have had fantastic keepers in our past lets make Jamal Blackman our future! #sufc #twitterblades https://t.co/BpVAefi0YW— Gary Hanson ⚬⚔⚬ (@GaryHanson89) March 14, 2018
Whether or not Blackman holds down the starting job at Elland Road remains to be seen. Right now, he has almost no competition, but Leeds probably have plans to change that. Under (relatively) new owner Andrea Radrizzani, they have embarked on an ambitious five- (now four-)year plan for promotion to the Premier League, including the recent hiring on Marcelo Bielsa as manager. It’s a good landing spot for Blackman, if he can win the starting job.