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LOAN PERFORMER OF THE WEEK: Chelsea midfielder Baker pick of the bunch at Vitesse

Chelsea youngster Lewis Baker has already made an impact at Vitesse Arnhem this season, putting in another impressive shift on Sunday as the Dutch side won 4-1 against SC Cambuur.


Baker is one of a host of young Blues to make the shift to Holland this season (alongside Nathan, Izzy Brown, Danilo Pantic and Dominic Solanke, while Todd Kane is at NEC Nijmegen).

So far, the move is paying dividends for both club and player. Baker has played every minute of the season and Vitesse have been rewarded by the 20-year-old with several strong showings from central midfield.

Baker scored from the penalty spot when Vitesse defeated Roda 3-0 a fortnight ago, and struck again another penalty on Sunday to make it two in four matches. Baker should have had a third when he earned himself a spot kick late in the game, but blasted it over the woodwork.

Still, it was a small blip in a string of otherwise impressive performances. There has been talk manager Jose Mourinho may opt to recall Baker to Chelsea's main squad before the transfer window ends, following the Blues' poor start to the Premier League campaign.

Baker isn't worried about that sort of talk though, and is more intent on going back to Stamford Bridge an improved player.

"I have got to give my best here every day in training and in every game, give 100 per cent with a view to going back to Chelsea an improved player," he told the FA's official website recently.

"Even if not next season, hopefully I will carry on going on until I can knock on that door and try and get into that first-team."

The central midfielder has spent time on loan at both Sheffield Wednesday and MK Dons.

"English players get a lot of criticism for having a lack of technical ability, but look at Lewis Baker who plays with both feet, plays forward, square and back, and he scores goals," Dons manager Karl Robinson told MK Web at the time.

"He can take corners with both feet, he can manipulate the ball unbelievably well.

"He is one of the best young midfielders in the country and (I was) shocked when his name got mentioned to me."

Baker helped the Dons clinch promotion to the Championship, and has started this season in terrific form, confirming speculation he is one to watch over the next few years.

Tim McGlone
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Tim McGlone

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