23-year-old midfielder, Lewis Baker, has joined Reading on loan until the end of the season, shortly after officially being recalled from his loan spell at Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United.
#ReadingFC are delighted to announce that @Lew_Baker has joined the club on loan from @ChelseaFC until the end of the season! ✍️#BakerJoinshttps://t.co/eIPjaX65kW— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) January 9, 2019
The tale of Lewis Baker is a sad one. Touted as one of the best young midfielders in the Netherlands after a successful couple of years on loan at Vitesse Arnhem, it’s just failed to kick off for Baker back in England. Neither Garry Monk, nor Tony Pulis afforded him a look-in at Middlesbrough last season but surprisingly, at no point was the possibility of a recall reported. That might be attributed to Baker’s hunger to prove himself and force his way into the side but no such thing materialised, and it was effectively a wasted season of development.
He was one of Leeds’ first acquisitions in the summer and apparently deemed key to the way they wanted to play under Marcelo Bielsa. However, right from pre-season it seemed as if he was seen in more of a rotational role. It’s been difficult for Baker to break into the XI with Leeds in such good form but he’s also been sub-par in his limited starts, taken off at half-time in his previous two.
Reading, have just come under the stewardship of Jose Gomes, who holds keeping the ball on the ground important whilst deploying a 4-2-3-1 shape. This could also see Baker play alongside John Swift, a former teammate in the Chelsea youth sides. A spell with the Royals under their new regime could prove to be revitalising for Baker; it’ll have to be, really, with him turning 24 in April.
Good luck, Lewis!