While the internationals are away, Demba Ba faces a struggle to impress Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho after deadline day deal collapse
Ba was close to joining both West Ham and Arsenal on loan but remained with Chelsea where he has fallen behind Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto'o in the pecking order
Tuesday 03 September 2013
Most of the Chelsea squad will be on international duty over the next week or so but those are not – including John Terry, Juan Mata, Fernando Torres and Cesar Azpilicueta will still be training at Cobham, with something to prove.
Among them, perhaps with more to show than any of the others, will be Demba Ba, not included in Senegal’s squad but keen to impress Jose Mourinho instead.
Ba may have some work to do on that front. He has only got on the pitch once so far this season, with a quiet 65 minutes in the 2-1 defeat of Aston Villa on 21 August, before failing to make the match-day squad for the high-profile games against Manchester United or Bayern Munich.
The day before the European Super Cup Chelsea bought Samuel Eto’o as well, a three-time Champions League winner, an unambiguous all-time great and not a man you sign to spend too much time on the bench.
So with one extra striker there it was inevitable that one would go on deadline day. The initial plan was for Ba to leave on loan for the season. Chelsea wanted a loan fee of a few million pounds. West Ham United wanted to bring Ba back – he scored seven goals in 12 games there in 2010-11 – but could not afford to.
There was hope, though, from all sides, that Arsenal – so keen on a new striker, with Olivier Giroud their only fit senior forward right now – might be able to do a deal for Ba. But the two clubs could not agree a fee – they were at least £1m away from doing so. It was Romelu Lukaku, then, who was loaned out instead to Everton for the season. Ba stayed at Chelsea, and will be competing with Eto’o and Torres for first-team football. It is a long season and there will be games for everyone but maybe not as many as he hoped.
Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again
Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood
Latest in Sport
Arsene Wenger 18th anniversary at Arsenal: His WORST signings XI during his time with the Gunners
18 things Wenger has still never done at Arsenal
Arsene Wenger's worst signings XI
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Nani: On loan Sporting Lisbon winger admits he may not return to Manchester United
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month