Leeds United may be about to lose Lewis Baker with Chelsea tipped to recall the midfielder, but his departure back to Stamford Bridge will be great news for Tyler Roberts.
The Yorkshire Evening Post reported on Tuesday that Chelsea are preparing to terminate the loan agreement between themselves and the Elland Road club, drawing short a season-long deal.
YEP note that Leeds are yet to hear from the Blues, but consider the matter likely given Baker’s restricted minutes under Marcelo Bielsa since arriving in the summer and the Stamford Bridge outfits tendency to reassess loan arrangements in January.
The 23-year-old had been the Argentine head coach’s first signing as Leeds boss, but has since started just twice in the Championship and was hauled off at half-time in each of those – Baker’s only 90 minutes for the Whites have come in the Carabao and FA cups.
Should Chelsea recall Baker, it would leave the Yorkshire outfit with an even thinner roster having lost Samuel Saiz on loan to Getafe and fellow Chelsea-loanee Izzy Brown to a string of injuries.
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It is believed, by the Yorkshire Evening Post, that Leeds are open to signing replacements for the likes of Saiz and Baker in the January window to offer Bielsa another option at number ten, but that is not necessarily needed.
Already on their books is Roberts, a teenage centre-forward who was nursed through the ranks at West Bromwich Albion before moving to Elland Road in January 2018.
Like Baker, Roberts has been a peripheral fringe player for Bielsa since falling out of favour in November, having consistently staked a claim for a starting role throughout the early stages of the season.
When a mainstay in the XI, the 19-year-old scored each of his three goals and assisted Mateusz Klich’s equaliser against Sheffield Wednesday.
As Roberts emerged through the ranks at the Baggies, he certainly honed his skills as a striker, but has also shown he can operate on the wings – netting three goals in 10 career matches on the right, and one in five on the left.
In his most recent Leeds appearance, playing the full 90 against Queens Park Rangers in Sunday’s FA Cup tie, the Gloucester-born ace also featured heavily in behind the main centre-forward, and now has a real chance to prove himself with fewer players competing for roles in a promotion contending side.
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