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Official: Stoke City sign Lewis Baker from Chelsea

The end of a 17-year link

Following 17 years as a Blue, 26-year-old midfielder Lewis Baker is leaving Chelsea in a permanent transfer to join Championship side Stoke City on a two-and-a-half year contract this winter.

For several years Baker was one of the most promising talents from Chelsea’s Academy setup. However, it feels as if he was never able to surpass the high expectations set during his two-season loan spell with Vitesse from 2015 to 2017, in which Baker aided the Dutch club lift their first — and to this day only — major trophy in the 2016-17 KNVB Cup.

Over almost nine seasons as a professional player, Baker managed two appearances for Chelsea. The first was his debut during the 2013-14 FA Cup under José Mourinho, as a substitute to Oscar during a clash with Derby County. The second, and now last was also a substitute appearance, in place of fellow Academy player Andreas Christensen in our FA Cup meeting with Chesterfield last Saturday.

Following a career with loans at eight different clubs and four different countries, Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill says Baker is ready to settle and see what is next in his still young career.

“From speaking to Lewis it’s clear that he is ready to lay down roots at a club and kick-on with his career.

“He’s a very talented midfielder who will bring a different dimension to our squad and we are delighted to have him on board with us.”

-Michael O’Neill; Source: Stoke City FC

It is never a happy occasion seeing a promising player fail to fulfil his promise at Chelsea, and moving on to different and likely better-suited scenery somewhere else. But Baker deserves best, and hopefully Stoke City can provide just that to the two-footed threat.

Farewell, Lewis! And thank you for your loyalty throughout all these years.

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