Chelsea midfielder Lewis Baker has joined Fortuna Düsseldorf on a season-long loan today, in his latest attempt to fulfill the potential he had shown in the youth system and while on loan at Vitesse.
The move flew mostly under the rumor radar, as Baker becomes the latest English prospect to try his luck in the Bundesliga instead.
There had been some speculative hope that Baker would manage to stick around with the first-team given Chelsea’s renewed emphasis on youth integration this summer, but there’s also a general feeling that at the age of 24, he’s now sort of missed the boat on all that. He does still have three years left on his Chelsea contract but the two clubs have reached an agreement on a future fee to make the deal permanent. Perhaps that’s why the deal took longer than expected to close.
That’s not to say that Baker isn’t a quality player. He did very well in the Championship last season, and he was a star at Vitesse (which is basically equivalent to Mason Mount’s resume), and he remains an absolute master at set pieces. He didn’t have a great training camp in Dublin, but that’s a small sample in the grand scheme of things. Maybe the Bundesliga is precisely what he needs.
Best of luck, Lewis! Do us proud.