After adapting to the Eredivisie and Vitesse’s style of playing during his first season on loan, Lewis Baker is now ready to shine during the upcoming season.

  • By Lars van Maanen
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Lewis Baker started his football career at Luton Town, before joining Chelsea as a 9-year-old in 2005. He successfully progressed through the Chelsea youth academy and made his debut for their first team in January 2014. Baker joined Sheffield Wednesday on loan in January 2015, but was recalled in February after just four matches for the Championship side. Later that month, Baker joined MK Dons on loan until the end of the season. Baker impressed in the Championship and scored 3 goals in 12 appearances.

Vitesse announced the arrival of Lewis Baker in June 2015. The Chelsea loanee impressed with his excellent technique and corners, but wasn’t a regular starter throughout the season. Baker scored 5 goals in his first season in the Eredivisie.

He was part of the England U21 squad for the Toulon Tournament, in which he scored 4 goals. Baker won the Toulon Tournament with England and earned the Golden Boot award with his goals. Most Chelsea fans expected him to join a Premier League side on loan, but Baker decided to return to Vitesse for another crack at the Eredivisie.

Playing style

Baker is a two-footed midfielder. As a kid, he trained in the car park with his father every day: passing and shooting exercises with both feet. Baker is one of the few players in the Eredivisie, who can take free-kicks and corners perfectly with both feet.

He dictated the play as deep-lying midfielder last season. Baker is definitely not a ball winning monster like his teammate Nakamba, but is disciplined enough to play there. Baker is not very strong in personal duels and is not great at heading either and that’s something he should improve, if he really wants to break through in the Premier League in the future.

What does this season hold for Baker?

Lewis Baker will spend another year on loan at Vitesse. Baker impressed with his excellent technique, but was used as a substitute under interim-manager Rob Maas. This season, Baker should become a regular starter in Henk Fraser’s side. Maas played with a Nakamba – Yeini pivot, while new manager Fraser wants to start the season with just one defensive midfielder. It looks like Nakamba will be the holding midfielder, with Baker as box-to-box midfielder and Valeri Qazaishvili as trequarista.

He scored five goals last season, but only one of them was scored from open play. Baker scored two penalties and two free-kicks last season, a stat which he should improve next season with his excellent technique. He has the ability to score free-kicks from almost every position in a 30-meter range of the opponents goal and should at least score 5 goals next season. The midfielder is 21-years-old now and this might be his last chance to show Chelsea that he’s good enough to be part of their first team, after the upcoming Eredivisie season.

Lars van Maanen (3 Posts)