Many fans have spoken of Lewis Baker as a potentially world class midfielder.
For Chelsea’s youth teams and his various loan teams the 22-year-old has shown excellent technique from open play and set pieces. He is also equally proficient with both feet and he has impressive vision for a pass.
However, the Englishman’s progress stalled on loan at Middlesbrough last season after he barely played for Tony Pulis’ team.
It does not bode well for Baker’s future at Chelsea that he is now struggling at Leeds. Baker only made his first league start for the Elland Road club yesterday. Worse still, sections of his own supporters criticised his performance.
We should probably sympathise with Baker to an extent. He was excellent on loan at MK Don’s and Vitesse for two seasons.
Perhaps he would be where Dele Alli is now had Chelsea then given him a chance instead of loaning him out to teams grinding it out in the slog of the Championship. This ultra-competitive and rough league is hardly an ideal place for an emerging youngster to thrive.
Regardless, Baker has not managed to convince Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa of his worth. Bielsa is as similar a manager to Maurizio Sarri as you could ask for.
He is committed to free flowing, attacking football. A player with Baker’s talent should be at the ideal place to get game time.
Yet, the fact that even a manager as adventurous as Bielsa has not been that impressed does not exactly indicate that Sarri would be.
The step up from playing in a technical, attacking team in the championship to one playing at the very highest level is steep. At the moment, the young starlet is a long way off.