Plenty of transfer rumours are starting to spring up around Leeds United this week as the training camp started Monday under new manager Marcelo Bielsa. The legendary manager said during his opening press conference on Sunday that a few changes would be made a the club, including strengthening “four to five” positions.
Most of the speculation so far has consisted of possible new strikers and some drama over a deal with Birmingham City for goalkeeper and boyhood Leeds fan David Stockdale.
Leeds #LUFC have made a move to snap up #CFC @ChelseaFC youngster Lewis Baker. Midfielder Baker, 23, was loaned out to Middlesbrough last season where he made 14 appearances, scoring twice. See @MirrorFootball live blog https://t.co/jkpAzG1QAl— James Nursey (@JamesNursey) June 28, 2018
However, the latest rumour is that Leeds are interested in 23 year-old Chelsea midfielder Lewis Baker. Baker has spent almost all of his Chelsea career on loan, and at 23 years old, the chances of him making the senior squad at Chelsea seem slim. Leeds are reportedly looking at handing the former England U21 international a lifeline and a second chance.
Baker spent last season on loan at Middlesbrough, where he made 14 total appearances in the Championship and in the League Cup. He started eight matches, was subbed on six times and scored two goals. He seemed to get chances early in the season, but by the time Boro played Leeds, he was out of the lineup under Garry Monk. Once Tony Pulis came in to Boro, Baker only made two appearances. In both cases, Baker came on as a substitute, once against Barnsley FC and once against Birmingham City.
Before his loan at Boro, Baker spent two successful years in the Eredivisie at Vitesse Arnhem, making 73 appearances, scoring 20 goals and adding 11 assists. He also spent time at MK Dons and Sheffield Wednesday in England, as well as making one senior appearance for Chelsea, in the FA Cup during the 2013-14 season for three minutes against Derby County.
Baker is still young enough to become a useful player, but it’s a little worrying that he failed to make an impact at Boro. This is also a strange link because Baker usually plays as a central or attacking midfielder, two positions that Leeds seem to already have plenty of options.
So will this link come true? Who knows. Leeds are going to be linked with dozens of players this window. Baker hasn’t got the greatest footballing CV, but if the powers-that-be at Leeds think he’s worth a punt, then so be it.