Lewis Baker has become Reading’s second signing of the January transfer window.
The 23-year-old arrives from Chelsea on a loan deal until the end of the season after he cut short his stay at Championship leaders Leeds United.
“Lewis is a player of undoubted ability who, having grown up at Chelsea, has gone on to regularly represent his country at youth level and earn valuable first team experience on loan both in England and Holland,” said Royals boss Jose Gomes.
“Importantly, he knows what it takes to meet the demands of this division and I am looking forward to him joining the group in training for the first time tomorrow (Thursday).”
This will be Baker’s sixth different loan club having come through the youth ranks at Chelsea.
As well as spells in England with Leeds, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes Dons and Sheffield Wednesday, the midfielder spent two years with Dutch outfit Vitesse Arnhem.
He has played 111 senior matches, including one for Chelsea, scoring 21 goals. He featured for Leeds in their 1-0 win over Reading back in November.
“If we keep sticking to the style that the manager is going to bring in then I think that will definitely bring in points for us to climb the table,” said Baker.
“It’s a new chapter in my career, I’m excited for the challenge ahead and I can’t wait to get started.
“Reading have called a few times (in the past) but I think it’s the right time for me to come here and get as much game time as possible.
“I think that’s what I need at the moment and help the club out in the situation they’re in at the moment.”
Baker becomes the second young English midfielder to join Reading on loan this week.
The first incoming was that of youngster Ovie Ejaria, who arrives on loan from Liverpool.
The midfielder spent the first half of this season with Steven Gerrard’s Rangers, but decided to leave early and join Reading until the summer.
As well as playing 28 games already this season, Ejaria has Championship experience having been relegated with Sunderland during a loan spell last season while he has also played eight times for Liverpool’s first team.
“In Ovie we have signed a player who is comfortable with the ball at his feet, can pass the ball quickly and effectively to make things happen in the final third,” said Royals boss Gomes.
“He shows a composure which is rare in such a young central midfielder. I am really looking forward to working with him at Reading.”
Five players have departed Reading this week in Dave Edwards (Shrewsbury Town), Pelle Clement (PEC Zwolle), Josh Sims (return to Southampton), Ben House (Swindon – loan) and Darren Sidoel (KSV Roeselare – loan).
Follow @TomJCrocker on Twitter for live updates from Jose Gomes’ press conference on Thursday (12.30pm) ahead of the weekend clash with Nottingham Forest.