Speaking to the Robins’ official website, the centre-back said: “I’ve not been playing lately so I wanted to get out on loan and this is something that’s worked out well for me.
“I want to play regular football. I don’t want to be sitting around on the bench – I want to progress with my career and hopefully this is the place to do it.
“I’ve been on loan in the Championship with Millwall a couple of seasons ago and it’s a tough league, but hopefully I can come here and help get the team into the Premier League.”
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Baker, 24, rose through the Villa ranks to earn his first-team debut as a teenager in 2011 and has since made 89 total appearances for the club.
His claret and blue career has been up-and-down so far, though, having struggled to produce a consistent run of form since breaking into the senior squad, while also suffering various injuries.
The left-footed stopper began last season on the bench after a dismal 2013-14 campaign but he soon showed his promise while deputising for the ailing Ron Vlaar in a 1-0 win at Liverpool, when he put up a heroic performance alongside new signing Philippe Senderos.
However, the former England Under-21 international would go on to endure fitness issues of his own over the following months, as reoccurring knee problems limited him to just 13 total appearances on the season.
The academy graduate was later linked with a £2 million move to Burnley this summer [h/t Daily Mail] but, instead of being sold, he ended up being rewarded with a contract extension until 2019, with manager Tim Sherwood telling AVTV last month: “I spoke to Nathan and told him that I think he’s got all the attributes to be a top player.
"He need to find some durability in his game because I think the maximum he’s ever started in a season is 18 games, which isn’t enough and he knows that.
“We’re looking to increase that number, get that durability box ticked and then I think he’s got a big future at this football club.”
Nevertheless, Baker has since made just one appearance this season in the recent 5-3 Capital One Cup victory over Notts County, while his playing time would have become even scanter with the deadline day arrivals of Joleon Lescott and Liverpool loanee Tiago Ilori.
With the pair joining a centre-back group that also contains team captain Micah Richards, Ciaran Clark, Jores Okore and Philippe Senderos, it makes perfect sense for him to head out on loan for regular first-team football, although whether he will have a better chance of breaking into Sherwood’s line-up when he returns next summer remains to be seen.