Goalkeeper Nathan Baxter turned 21 late last year but he is already on his fifth loan spell away from Stamford Bridge, accruing valuable match experience all the time.
It has been a path less trodden for the FA Youth Cup-winning stopper, who took his first steps into the senior game with non-league Met Police at the age of just 17.
Following successful spells with Solihull Moors and then Woking, Baxter stepped into the Football League last term with Yeovil. His performances earned him their Player of the Year award.
In the summer he joined Scottish Premiership side Ross County on loan, but a shoulder injury stunted his progress before his recent return to action against the likes of Rangers and Celtic.
In the latest feature of our official series on The 5th Stand app charting our players’ life on loan, Baxter’s recovery from that knock is tracked behind the scenes, with the young keeper assessing the steps he has taken to reach his current status as a top-flight keeper in Scotland. Expert insight is offered by the goalkeeping fraternity at Cobham, including Petr Cech, Christophe Lollichon and Hilario.
Baxter also remembers his days in our Academy teams and considers the progress made by some of his peers.
‘You always have that dream, and I still have that dream now,’ Baxter says of his hopes of one day representing the Blues.
‘When I was an eight-year-old Cech was the goalie, and I was like ‘that’s what I want to do when I’m older, be him!’’
‘The spine of my youth team was Fik in defence, Mason in midfield and Tammy up front. That’s now the spine of the team in the Premier League, which is amazing. So many people in the Academy deserve so much credit for that.’
You can watch the full film with Baxter on The 5th Stand app now, in what is the second episode of our Life on Loan feature.
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