Chelsea have confirmed midfielder Lewis Baker has temporarily left Stamford Bridge to join League One promotion hopefuls MK Dons on loan until the end of the season.
For 19-year-old Baker, who signed a new five-year contract with the Premier League leaders in the summer of 2014 and made his debut against Derby County in the FA Cup, the move to Stadium mk is his second loan stint of 2015 after a short-lived spell with Sheffield Wednesday was swiftly ended by his parent club earlier in February.
A highly regarded product of Chelsea's youth set-up, Baker made just four appearances during a disappointing spell in Yorkshire and was not able to gain much by way of valuable experience as the Owls gradually slipped from play-off contention.
MK Dons, meanwhile, find themselves in the thick of the promotion race in the third tier and there is a general feeling around supporters, and indeed the club, that this season represents their best chance yet to achieve promotion to the Championship for the first time since the club were controversially formed following the unfortunate demise of Wimbledon in 2004.
With Bristol City leading the way at the summit of League One, Karl Robinson's slick side currently occupy second place but face stiff competition for an automatic slot from the likes of Swindon Town and Preston North End.
A comfortable 3-0 victory over Peterborough on 21 February, a result that was to spell the end for Darren Ferguson's time in charge at London Road, secured a little breathing space over the Dons' promotion rivals and the addition of an exciting prospect such as Baker could be exactly what is needed to make sure that the season ends on a successful note.
'Gifted midfielder' Baker
"Lewis is one of the most gifted young midfielders in England," Robinson told the club's official website after sealing the deal. "I'm looking forward to working with him for the rest of the season."
The potential for an eventual partnership with fellow midfielder Dele Alli presents a very interesting proposition indeed for Robinson. Alli is arguably the most impressive young prospect the Football League has to offer at present and his excellent form was enough to convince Tottenham to spend £5m ($8m) on the player during the January transfer window before loaning him back to MK Dons until the summer.
Baker, who will act as a replacement for the injured Alli in the short term, could make his debut this weekend for the trip to managerless Coventry.
"Obviously with Dele out, Lewis gives us another option in midfield," Robinson continued.
"He also knows where the goal is too, which is clear by the amount he scored last season - a great achievement at any age level."