Back in the summer of 2017, Lewis Baker signed a new five-year contract at Chelsea before going on loan to Middlesbrough for the 2017/18 Championship season as Garry Monk looked to bolster his midfield options.
The 23-year-old arrived at the Riverside fresh from back-to-back campaigns in the Eredivisie with Vitesse where he impressed, giving Middlesbrough supporters much reason to be excited about his signing.
Great signing! Welcome to Boro Lewis.
— For The Love Of Boro (@4TheLoveOfBoro) August 11, 2017
Steve gibson pic.twitter.com/JidNRR7krF
— Alfie (@Alf_Swal) August 11, 2017
— Adam Wright (@j90ado) August 11, 2017
— LeeWharfe (@wharfie96552) August 11, 2017
More prepared than the Premiership! Let’s win the league with confidence and aggression
— Gaza (@GaryB2015) 11 August 2017
Amazing signing. Welcome to boro Lewis
— • (@erimus123) August 11, 2017
Awesome! Welcome UTB x
— Rebecca Jane Brooks (@beckybrooksUTB) August 11, 2017
good signing let's smash this league
— Kieran Wright King (@kieranwk20) August 11, 2017
Excellent signing,really looking fwd to watching this lad ignite the Riverside
— tom allison (@tommyal70) 11 August 2017
In the end, though, Baker’s time at Middlesbrough proved to be a disappointing one despite a fairly decent start and the fact that the English midfielder has so much technical ability.
Under Monk, Baker featured from time to time and managed to show some of his quality, making Chelsea’s decision to send him to the Riverside look like a sensible one for all parties.
However, the sacking of Monk and appointment of Tony Pulis sent the former England U21 international’s career at Middlesbrough spiralling in the wrong direction.
Pulis, unsurprisingly, did not fancy Baker with the ex-West Brom boss known for trusting more experienced players who have a great tactical understanding and are defensively astute.
Baker is now on loan at Reading following another disappointing temporary spell in the Championship with Leeds United, suggesting that there might be something the Chelsea youth product is not currently doing or something lacking in his game.
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