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Chelsea Player To Leave After 16 Years At The Club

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Chelsea Player To Leave After 16 Years At The Club

Chelsea are set to lose midfielder Lewis Baker, with the academy graduate ending 16 years at the club which saw him make just two appearances for them.

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The Blues have one of the best academies in the world and won the FA Youth Cup seven times in nine years between 2009 and 2018.

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One problem the club had in previous years was moving their players up from the academy to the first team, although the likes of Mason Mount and Reece James have changed that in the past.

Whilst those players are now flourishing in Thomas Tuchel's side, Baker is one who missed out on graduating to the first team and, following 16 years with the Stamford Bridge side with eight loans away, he is on the verge of leaving permanently.

According to the Daily Mail, Stoke City are leading the race to sign the 26-year-old, who has only played for Chelsea on two occasions during his senior career.

Baker played against Chesterfield recently. Image: PA Images
Baker played against Chesterfield recently. Image: PA Images
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Baker's contract is set to expire in the summer, when he'd be available for free, but the report claims that the Blues won't be looking to cash on him this month, instead letting him go for nothing.

Stoke want to get the deal done this month due to the fact they're currently fighting for promotion back to England's top tier, and would need him to be released before the end of the month to get him for no transfer fee.

The Potters currently sit in eighth place, two places off the play-offs, but are just five points off Huddersfield, who currently occupy the final play off spot.

Michael O'Neil's team have two games in hand over Huddersfield as well and the addition of Baker could boost their chances of returning to the Premier League since being relegated in 2019, after spending 10 years in the top tier.

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Amongst Baker's loan moves was one to Fortuna Dusseldorf in the Bundesliga. Image: PA Images
Amongst Baker's loan moves was one to Fortuna Dusseldorf in the Bundesliga. Image: PA Images

Baker has played in League One, the Championship, Eredivisie, Bundesliga and the Turkish Super Lig during eight loan spells away from Stamford Bridge over the years.

He actually made his debut for the Blues against Derby County in an FA Cup in 2014 and then had to wait nearly eight years for his next appearance.

It looked like the midfielder would make a second appearance for them in the Carabao Cup at the end of last year but a positive Covid test put an end to that hope.

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He did however come on as a substitute in the FA Cup third round game against Chesterfield last weekend, which looks like it will be his last in a Chelsea shirt.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Transfers, Chelsea, EFL Championship, Premier League, Stoke City

Ryan Sidle
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