Lewis Baker was brought to Leeds United on a season-long loan this summer as Marcelo Bielsa’s first signing. Despite their impressive start to the season, Baker has still struggled to get a look in.
Baker has been on his fair share of loans during his affiliation with Chelsea, this being his fifth in as many seasons.
The 23-year old has tended to struggle to get stake a claim for a weekly spot in the first-team line-up during his previous loans which was the case at both Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesborough when manager Tony Pulis took over from Gary Monk.
There is one notable anomaly in Vitesse Arnhem where he played for two years, starring in a side which won the KNVB Beker Cup for the first time in Vitesse’s history at the culmination of Baker’s loan.
It seemed that a move to Elland Road could be different, whereby he could act as the box-to-box midfielder alongside the more attacking minded Samu Saiz in Bielsa’s 4-1-4-1 system. However, due to Mateusz Klich’s unexpected yet remarkable form in that role, he has been almost untouchable.
Baker has managed just a pair of starts in the League Cup and one in the Championship, collating just 121 minutes in the second tier of English football so far this season.
As Bielsa’s system requires so many different players for different roles, unless Saiz was rested and Baker was granted more freedom in attacking midfield or Klich was injured, Baker will continue to struggle for game time with ‘El Loco’ renown for his limited rotation and Adam Forshaw featuring more since his return from injury.
If this remains the case then it Chelsea may look to move Baker on, despite him being able to learn from one of the world’s best coaches in Bielsa, he needs to play regularly to continue to develop.
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