As MOMS reported last week, the serious interest in Nathan Baker has been followed up by Bristol City, who completed the medical and a four-year deal for the defender today.
The fee is reported to be around the £4m mark.
MOMS was informed last week, that there was more than one club that had made offers to Villa for the services of the 26-year-old, but it seems that Baker’s previous loan spell and resulting familiarity with the Robins has won them favour with him.
Baker made 38 appearances on loan during the 2015/16 season.
While there are sections of the Villa fanbase that will miss the academy product, due to him coming through the ranks, the reality is he was unlikely going to feature this upcoming season with the incoming transfers of both John Terry and Chris Samba, adding to James Chester at centre-back.
Villa currently have further back-up in Micah Richards and Tommy Elphick, with Mile Jedinak and Ritchie De Laet having also previously played the position.
MOMS has always had issues with Baker’s positional sense, which he has tended to try and compensate for with his blood and thunder style of play, which has often led to injuries and knocks during games.
Perhaps no game typifies this more than the 2015 FA Cup semi-final. Baker had shown enough promise and form to make the starting line-up, only to leave the field injured after just 26 minutes.
In fact, it became rare for Baker to make it to half-time in games without at least some attention from the Villa medical team. It became a running joke amongst supporters.
While Baker was a decent enough centre-back at Championship level, at 26, he was unlikely reach the level of being an accomplished Premier League centre-back.
Considering his statue, his return of a single goal from over 120 appearances for the club, suggested his threat on set pieces was under-whelming for a top level centre back.
Again, you have to question his positional sense in that respect too, especially when you consider he has three own goals to his name.
Ultimately, while ideally you’d want to keep Baker in the Villa squad as insurance for next season, considering Terry and Samba’s ages. The centre-back, no doubt, now 26, wanted to play first team football.
He’ll certainly strengthen Bristol City and MOMS wishes him well.
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