Baxter won't give up on Chelsea No.1 dream after successful Hull City loan spell

Nathan Baxter Hull 2021-22Getty Images

Chelsea goalkeeper Nathan Baxter is consistent in everything that he does and says.

Ever since breaking into men's football at the very bottom of the English football pyramid, he has given the same answer to what his ambitions with Chelsea are.

In his latest interview with GOAL, Baxter reiterated his long-term stance: "I've not been scared to share with people my belief that I am good enough to play for Chelsea and I have said that for many, many years."

The reason he keeps getting asked is because he inches closer to that dream every year. The journey began with his first loan as a 17-year-old at non-league club Metropolitan Police and takes him to the present day and a spell with Hull City.

The 23-year-old now has over 150 games under his belt and was serenaded with chants of 'we want you to stay' in his final home game at MKM Stadium.

With just a year left on his deal with the Blues, Baxter will have to resolve his future again this summer.

"I always do my best when I am sent out on loan and I want to put in the performances to show that I am good enough.

"It is my dream to play for Chelsea one day. Whether it is this summer or not, I don't know. They will bring me into the building and we'll have to wait and see.

"The next step could be going back to Hull, and why not? I love the place and the fans really supported me.

"Whatever the decision is, I will keep my head down and work as hard as I possibly can."

Chelsea will be aware of the impressive numbers that Baxter has produced on loan this season. He boasts the highest save percentage in the Championship at 79.5 percent. Furthermore, he has seven clean sheets and has conceded just 17 goals in 16 matches for the Championship side.

It is made all the more remarkable by the fact that Baxter started the season as the back-up goalkeeper, forcing his way into the starting role and helping everyone at Hull achieve their goals.

"I was lucky that from a young age, at Chelsea, I was training with the best players in the world, so I don't think anything is ever going to faze you on loan," he added. "I've been lucky that I've made incremental steps every year so no jump has seemed that big.

"I've had Carlo Cudicini running the loan department and Christophe Lollichon has been watching my performances at Hull so they've been very supportive. They help me find the loans and then support me.

"I've taken little bits from each goalkeeper coach that I've worked with. Also, the players, each manager, the fans, the area and used it to improve.

"When I am on loan I fully buy-in to the club and try to get on with everyone in the dressing room.

"The benefit of the loan system is that you can go in, step by step with more experience, grow and climb up. There is not too much of a shock when you do have to prove yourself at a high level.

"I want to be playing at the highest level one day and to do that you need to be world class at every aspect of goalkeeping."

The next step will ultimately be up to Thomas Tuchel, the new ownership structure, and the loan and goalkeeping departments having their say on a player they know is heading in the right direction.

Having been at the club since Under-9s level, Baxter has managed to find the right mentality needed to achieve his goals. He hasn't lost sight of his day-to-day business but also ensured that his boyhood dreams don't die.

"Whilst you've got to make sure that you remember that's your goal, you've got to make sure you take it loan by loan too," he said.

"If you don't do well on that loan then obviously the dream is not going to be attainable anyway. So you concentrate on doing it step by step."

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