Lewis Baker hasn’t had much chance this season and it was certainly a surprise to see Marcelo Bielsa include him in Leeds United’s starting line-up against Reading last night.
Leeds were 1-0 winners at Elland Road thanks to Stuart Dallas’ goal and Bailey Peacock-Farrell’s penalty save, but Baker will have been left frustrated on his first league start since September 2017, with Bielsa substituting him after a difficult first-half.
In our latest FLW Spotlight, we take a look at the 23-year-old’s performance from last night:
Baker completed the first 45 minutes, with Bielsa quick to replace him with Samu Saiz at half-time.
In his time on the field the Chelsea loanee managed one shot on goal, whilst he also won two aerial duels.
At first glance, Baker’s stats make decent reading, with an 87% pass success rate coming in the first 45 minutes, but 25 touches tell you that he wasn’t involved nearly enough for a central midfielder, with 23 passes only adding to that argument.
It was a big chance for Baker against Reading, with Bielsa having faith in him over Samu Saiz in the starting XI.
Whilst he was reasonably tidy with what he did in the first-half, he wasn’t brave enough on the ball and his 25 touches in a central area tell you he was largely anonymous.
Saiz’s introduction in the second-half sparked Leeds into life, with the Spaniard busy and looking to get on the ball at every opportunity.
Whilst three points were the main thing, Baker will have been watching on in frustration, knowing he’d blown a big opportunity.
The 23-year-old’s last league start before last night came for Middlesbrough almost 15 months ago. And, after having such little impact on the clash with Reading, it looks like Baker could be facing another spell on the sidelines.
Thoughts? Let us know!