Lewis Baker has always been known for his expert technique on set pieces, including free kicks, even way back in the Chelsea Academy, and he showed off those skills once again yesterday as he opened the scoring for 10-man Trabzonspor against Konyaspor in the penultimate round of the Turkish Süper Lig.
While Trabzon would end up having to settle for the draw, the eighth (8th!) on their last eleven matches, Baker’s latest contribution put the cherry on top of what’s been a most excellent season on loan for him. (“Pump It”, louder, indeed!)
Trabzonspor have lost just twice since the turn of the year and have guaranteed themselves a fourth place finish and a spot in next season Europa Conference qualifiers. Things weren’t looking so great earlier in the season, which (prematurely) cost former Chelsea assistant Eddie Newton his job, but the team truly turned the corner in the winter months and went on an eight-match winning run at one point even.
While there were some doubts about Baker’s prospects at the team following Newton’s sacking, the 26-year-old has impressed the new head coach, Abdullah Avci as well with his “hard work and sense of responsibility” (not to mention his skills), and has been a mainstay ever since (save for a brief bout with the coronavirus in February).
Baker has one more year left on his contract at Chelsea, but it sounds like Trabzonspor are hoping to work out a deal with the Blues and Baker himself for next season as well — though they may have to do better than another loan at 50 per cent wages.