Reading in box seat as Chelsea recall midfielder from Leeds

Date published: Wednesday 9th January 2019 10:37 - James Marshment

Leeds United have suffered another blow to their promotion hopes after Chelsea opted to recall midfielder Lewis Baker from his loan spell at Elland Road.

The Whites, who sit top of the Championship despite losing their last two matches, already have one of the smallest squads in the division and Chelsea’s decision to recall Baker midway through the arrangement will further deplete numbers available to Marcelo Bielsa.

Baker has started just two Championship matches for Leeds this season – and while he has been substituted at half-time in both those games – he has featured in the matchday squad in each and every one of their 26 league games so far.

It’s understood Chelsea, who always review their loanees’ performances at this stage of the season, are unhappy with the amount of football Baker has played at Elland Road and will instead look to loan him to another Championship side. Reports in the Daily Mail suggest the former England U21 international will now be loaned to struggling Reading.

Chelsea’s decision to recall Baker will leave Bielsa light of options in central midfield in a squad that has also recently been depleted by the sale of Samuel Saiz to Getafe and is still is yet to see another loanee Izzy Brown feature at all.

Leeds are looking to the January market to supplement their promotion-hunting squad with a new goalkeeper and an attacking midfielder, or winger at the top of their wishlist.

Whether Bielsa also targets another central midfielder remains to be seen.

One player who apparently won’t be joining the Whites, however, is Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow with Leeds only wanting a loan deal and unwilling to meet Newcastle’s £4million valuation of the player.


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