Like the Cylons, Nathan Baxter has a plan. Unlike the Cylons, he has been executing to perfection, playing the loan system like a fiddle and making us take notice with out-of-the-box choices in non-league assignments and slowly working his way up the pyramid.
Last summer, he chose Scottish Premier League newcomers (and rather terrible) Ross County as his next challenge after he mastered League Two by way of being named Yeovil Town’s 2018-19 Player of the Season.
Then, the plan took a bit of an unexpected detour, by way of a dislocated shoulder, which ruled him out for the first half of the season. Baxter didn’t make his debut for The Staggies until late November. Fourteen consecutive starts later, he found himself back on the bench with the older (non-loanee) Ross Laidlaw getting a shot and then performing well. The manager wanted competition at the spot as he tried to avoid relegation, but then COVID-19 struck and the league would end up getting curtailed four matches later.
Still, Ross County survived, with a bit of a cushion, even. Another job well done for young Nathan.
So, what’s next for the Christophe Lollichon mentee?
Like a buried lede, he has been spotted at League One newcomers Swindon Town in recent weeks, but according to the Evening Standard, there’s also interest from Sunderland, as well as from Birmingham City and Derby County from a division higher. So whether it’s the Championship or League One, Baxter looks set to continue his upwards journey.
Nathan, like many others of his youth class, joined the Academy at age 8. Earlier this year, set himself the a target of reaching the Chelsea first-team by age 24. He will turn 22 in November, which gives him a couple more seasons of development. His Chelsea contract is good through 2023 at the moment, but if he is successful in becoming our own Dean Henderson, we just might be seeing him line up for the Blues in a couple years!