Chelsea

Chelsea

Premier League • England

Chelsea transfer news: Blues sell long-serving star, as Championship boss raves at ‘talented’ signing

Lewis Baker, Omari Hutchinson Arsenal Under-21s v Chelsea Under-21s January 2022

Stoke City have confirmed the signing of Lewis Baker on a permanent deal, following a series of loan spells for the former Chelsea midfielder.

Baker has ended his 16-year association with the Blues, which saw him make only two first-team appearances. The first of those came after his initial breakthrough in 2014. However, the other arrived only this month – again in the FA Cup.

In between, the 26-year-old has gone on eight loan spells. While he has had moves in England with Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday among others, he has also gone abroad.

In fact, his last move took him to Turkey but he has now returned to the Championship with Stoke. And this time, it is on a permanent two-and-a-half-year deal.

“From speaking to Lewis it’s clear that he is ready to lay down roots at a club and kick-on with his career,” Potters boss Michael O’Neill told the club’s official website.

“He’s a very talented midfielder who will bring a different dimension to our squad and we are delighted to have him on board with us.”

Baker first earned his promotion to the senior Chelsea ranks in the summer of 2014.

He has also gained experience on the international stage, scoring eight goals in 17 England Under-21 games.

Baker is Stoke’s third signing of the January transfer window after Phil Jagielka and Taylor Harwood-Bellis.

The Potters currently sit 10th in the Championship table but are looking to climb up the table and join the hunt for promotion.

Back at Chelsea, Baker was one of several players out on loan before his move to Stoke.

Lewis Baker leaves Chelsea loan system

Lewis Baker, Bristol Rovers v Chelsea Under-21s, January 2022

Conor Gallagher is the standout name, the midfielder starring at Crystal Palace this season. As a result, Blues boss Thomas Tuchel has said that the club will integrate him into the first team next season.

Meanwhile, Billy Gilmour moved to Norwich in the summer but injury has turned his spell there sour.

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There are also doubts over the futures of the likes of Tiemoue Bakayoko and Emerson Palmieri.

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