Monday 5 December 2016

Baker: Try your luck abroad

Published 05/08/2015 | 16:07

England youth international Lewis Baker, centre, is on loan at Vitesse Arnhem
England youth international Lewis Baker, centre, is on loan at Vitesse Arnhem

Lewis Baker believes more English players should take the plunge and try their luck abroad, with the midfielder confident his loan move to Holland with Vitesse Arnhem will boost his first-team chances at Chelsea.

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David Beckham, Owen Hargreaves and Ashley Cole are amongst just a handful of high-profile Three Lions internationals to have bucked the trend and plied their trade overseas in recent decades.

The latter, upon signing for Roma last summer, said "English players are probably afraid to come abroad" and are in a comfort zone playing in the Premier League.

A number of younger players are making the move, though, with Vitesse capitalising on their Chelsea ties to coax English talent to Arnhem.

Amongst those currently on loan with the Dutch side are Izzy Brown, Dominic Solanke and Baker, who believes experiencing life abroad can benefit club, player and country.

"I am living by myself in a town that's close," said the England Under-20s midfielder, who last term spent time on loan at Sheffield Wednesday and MK Dons.

"But I think a lot of the English boys maybe don't want to try coming out abroad for some reason.

"The first loan I did, I didn't maybe want to go abroad, but seeing different cultures and different ways of playing I would advise (it) to young English players.

"I think if you go and try different places, you pick up different things and different styles of playing. It's just about experiences, I think.

"Maybe not staying in England can benefit you, maybe it can benefit you staying. It depends what you are comfortable with. For me, I definitely think this is a good move."

The opportunity to play with Vitesse certainly appears to benefit all parties, with Nemanja Matic, Christian Atsu and Patrick van Aanholt amongst those to temporarily swap west London for the GelreDome.

Baker is determined to make the move to Holland a success and the spring board to success at Chelsea, where he has a contract at until 2019 and has been since the Under-9s age group.

"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 said.

"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."

That is Baker's long-term goal but for now he is only concerned about bringing success to Vitesse - something which appears unlikely in the Europa League given Southampton arrive for the return leg of their third qualifying round tie boasting a three-goal cushion.

"Southampton finished the chances they had and hopefully we can do the same tomorrow," said Baker, who has played with Saints' James Ward-Prowse, Harrison Reed and Matt Targett in the England youth set-up.

"Nobody has any doubt we can get something from the game and hopefully the fans can give the same support and we can get something from the game."

Press Association

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