Lewis BakerEngland Under-21s
DATE OF BIRTH25 April 1995
A two-footed creative and technical midfield player, Lewis Baker has been with Chelsea since the Under-10s age group.
He has spent the past few years on loan and it was announced in July 2019 that he would join Bundesliga side Fortuna Dusseldorf on loan. He returned to Chelsea in January 2020.
Baker scored once in 19 appearances for our youth team while still a schoolboy in 2010/11 and the following season was the joint-top appearance maker with 22 games played. He was also the regular penalty-taker, the source of four of his five goals.
Baker also made one start and three substitute appearances for the reserves in his debut campaign as a scholar, before signing a professional contract in the summer. The 2012/13 season was one to remember, with a host of appearances under his belt and captaincy responsibilities coming his way.
An ever-present in both the NextGen Series and FA Youth Cup campaigns, Baker chipped in with vital goals from midfield, including two in our 4-3 NextGen semi-final win over Arsenal in Italy, and though we ended up losing the final to Aston Villa, the European competition finished on a positive personal note for the midfielder as he was named player of the tournament.
Baker was rewarded for an impressive start to the 2013/14 campaign when he was named on the first team substitutes’ bench for our 2-0 Capital One Cup win over Swindon Town in September 2013 and, although he remained unused on that occasion, he did make his first team debut four months later in a 2-0 FA Cup victory at Derby County.
At Under-21 and Under-19 level he had a fine season, impressing to such an extent that he was named Chelsea Young Player of the Year 2013/14 and also won the club’s Goal of the Season, voted for by supporters, for a back-heel strike in an Under-21 match away against Arsenal at the Emirates. His campaign came to an end in fitting fashion on the field as well as he netted the winning goal to clinch the Barclays Under-21 Premier League title against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Senior football experiences
Baker signed a new five-year contract in August 2014 and was a member of Jose Mourinho's first team squad for the first half of the 2014/15 campaign. It was announced in January 2015 that he was moving on loan to Championship side Sheffield Wednesday. He returned to Chelsea a month later and then spent the remainder of the season at MK Dons, where he enjoyed a productive spell as they secured automatic promotion to the Championship. During his time there, the midfielder scored three goals in eight starts and 12 substitute appearances.
Baker spent the following two seasons on loan in the Netherlands with Vitesse Arnhem. In his first campaign, he scored on five occasions during 34 appearances, most notably a right-foot strike from distance at De Graafschaap in February that was voted Vitesse's goal of the season.
His second season was even more productive as he continued as a mainstay of the Vitesse midfield, upping his scoring rate to the extent he found the net four games in succession in the autumn and had scored nine in total by the end of January. He then scored twice in the Dutch Cup semi-final and played in the final when AZ Alkmaar were defeated 2-0 to secure Vitesse's first ever piece of major silverware. In total, Baker made 39 appearances and scored 15 goals during the 2016/17 season.
In the summer of 2017 Baker was part of the Chelsea squad which travelled to Asia for our summer tour, where he featured in matches against Arsenal and Bayern Munich. In August, it was announced he had signed a new five-year contract at Stamford Bridge and would be spending the 2017/18 season on loan at Middlesbrough. In a season affected by injury and managerial changes at the Riverside, Baker made 14 appearances, scoring two goals.
The 2018/19 was also spent in the Championship, firstly at Leeds United and then with Reading. In total, he played 33 times.
His time on loan at Fortuna Dusseldorf during the first half of 2019/20 yielded nine appearances for the Bundesliga club. He returned to Chelsea in January 2020.
On the international stage
Baker has represented England at every age group up to the Under-21s. He featured for the Under-20s as they finished fourth at the Toulon Tournament in the summer of 2015, wearing the captain's armband in the games he started. A year later, at the same tournament, he was awarded the Golden Boot as England Under-21s won the competition, his four goals including the opener in the final against host nation France.
The midfielder started all three of England's group games at the 2017 European Under-21 Championships, and scored his first goal of the tournament from the penalty spot in a 3-0 win over Poland.