Demba Ba has scored Premier League goals for West Ham and Newcastle and his productivity, and more likely availability, earned him a move to Chelsea in January 2013. His move to Chelsea was the very definition of opportunism from Chelsea’s point of view.
Having found themselves down to just Fernando Torres up front and still in lots of competitions they needed an easy to sign, fairly cheap and decent quality option to cover the Spaniard whilst Romelu Lukaku was maturing on loan. Ba fit the bill, available to be signed for just £7m and having shown himself to have good calibre in the Premier League.
Now, with the return of Lukaku and the addition of Schurrle who Mourinho has intimated can play through the middle on top of Torres, and possibly even Rooney, the chances of Ba fitting in to the first team picture is basically zero. The club would probably be willing to sell him for £10-11m as it would give them a decent profit and remove a headache. He has obvious quality but needs to leave Chelsea to show it again. Here are five clubs that could afford him and where he could be a stellar signing.
West Brom have brought in Nicholas Anelka but what he actually has left in the tank is up for debate. What they are going to miss this season having lost Lukaku is pace, power and goals. Exactly what Demba Ba can offer them. He would give them a legitimate forward threat and also give the club some much needed impetus.
They’ve been quiet this summer and have possibly been caught up by other clubs in the upper mid table where they were last season. The best thing about a move to West Brom is the chance for Ba to work with Steve Clarke. Clarke is one of the best coaching managers in the Premier League and last year showed how much he can improve players.
Lukaku, Foster, McAuley, Yacob and Mulumbu all enjoyed career best seasons under Clarke and he could well be the man to light the fire under Demba Ba. They’ve got good supply from wide areas which suits him.
Stoke badly need a goalscorer. Even though they’ve spent big money on the likes of Kenwyne Jones and Peter Crouch, the £16m they spent hasn’t got them a player capable of 12 goals, let alone 15-20 that is required if they are going to be able to push on up the table, which was after all, the reason Tony Pulis was sacked.
Ba thrived in a similar fashion when he was the near enough sole attacking threat at West Ham because his goals to shots ratio is exceptional. He loves being the absolute main man and that would be unquestioned at Stoke. They need to add some creativity to help him, but they can afford him and his wages.
As we suggested here if Ba was brought to Spurs he could potentially be a big factor in a title push. Playing with Gareth Bale is every forward’s dream and add in Lewis Holtby and newly acquired Paulinho and Spurs have the kind of supply line that Ba could score heavily with.
Spurs like the snaffle players who are going cheap so if it gets to a stage where Chelsea are selling cheap, perhaps even down to £8m, they would have to be very tempted to jump in, just as they did with Dempsey last season. Although Defoe and Adebayor have their merits, Ba is more consistent.
Sevilla have been quite open about their intentions to sell their star men and rebuild for less but to still become better. It’s an ambitious project, but one that Ba could make perfect sense for.Having just sold Negredo to Man City for £20m they would be in a position to afford Ba and still have the best part of £10m available to them to make improvements elsewhere.
Ba has the kind of pace and strength that is much less usual in La Liga than it is in the Premier League so he could be a real menace. He’d also be the top dog, which he seems to thrive off.
For all their wide forwards the only true striker at Marseille is Andre-Pierre Gignac, and he is not in Demba Ba’s class. Although he had a bit of a bounce back year last season if the club is to have any hope at all of overhauling PSG and Monaco, or even just competing for a Champions League spot with Lyon, they need a player who can score them 20 goals.
Ba has that kind of ability. With quality supply from Ayew and Valbuena, Ba wouldn’t be short of opportunities. The club need to make a statement and the chance to play in the Champions League ought to appeal to Ba.