Chelsea midfielder Lewis Baker could reportedly be set to leave Stamford Bridge soon.
According to a report, the 26-year-old may complete a move away from the Blues during the current January transfer window.
It is claimed that he could depart on a free transfer this month, with Championship club Stoke City the frontrunners for his signature. Apparently, Stoke want to add the English central midfielder to their ranks in January to help with their chase for promotion back to the Premier League.
Baker, who joined Chelsea’s academy back in 2005, could be set to end a long association with the London club.
He came off the bench in the 5-1 win against Chesterfield at the weekend in the FA Cup third round, which was his first senior Chelsea appearance for eight years.
The academy graduate’s spent nearly most of his senior career out on loan away from the Bridge, so it’s no surprise to hear he may be leaving on a permanent basis after eight previous loan moves.
He may have had one farewell appearance on Saturday with the first team and he’s been keeping fit playing with the Blues Under-23s side this season.
Chelsea academy has grown so much
A decade ago it looked almost impossible at times for talented academy players on Chelsea’s books to break into the first-team set-up.
Baker, along with countless others, were always known as youngsters with potential that never really cracked the senior squad at Stamford Bridge.
In fairness, the midfielder’s career has been blighted by injuries and he’s not been able to keep pace with the level of an elite side like Chelsea.
However, it’s great to see so many academy players in the current squad. The likes of Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Mason Mount are now key figures in the main group after developing at Cobham.