The Blues did not start their Premier League campaign as many would have expected, with the Champions playing a 2-2 draw with Gary Monk’s Swansea City – in a match which saw goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois red-carded for blocking Bafetimbi Gomes as he made his way towards goal.
However, Chelsea have appealed the red card which many pundits have suggested should have been a yellow although they admitted it was indeed a penalty. They are now waiting for the outcome whether the card will be rescinded to enable Courtois feature against Manchester City next Sunday.
So far in the transfer window, only two major signings have been made by the Blues in the form of Radamel Falcao who arrived on loan from Monaco and Asmir Begovic, a permanent signing from Stoke City. The duo played some part in Saturday’s match as Jose Mourinho’s men had to settle for a draw.
Chelsea sanctioned the sale of Filipe Luis to Atletico Madrid this summer, after the Brazilian failed to cut it at Stamford Bridge. He has now made a return to the Vicente Calderon and Mourinho has declared a replacement will be brought it, with Augsburg’s left back Baba Rahman the man.
Reports from English, Italian and German sources have claimed the 21-year old left back will soon be a Chelsea player and late last night, renowned Italian transfer specialist, Gianluca Di Marzio claimed there is an agreement by all parties and the transfer is a done deal.
Mourinho has installed Spain full back Cesar Azpilicueta in the left back position in the team since the Portuguese’ return to Chelsea. Azpilicueta, primarily a right back, has been fantastic in that position and impressed Mourinho so much that Luis was hardly given playing time – and this led to his exit.
Baba will also most likely find himself on the bench but he could get some cup games and besides, the Ghanaian international defender is one for the future. Branislav Ivanovic seems the weakest link in the Chelsea rearguard, as he is always found wanting. The Blues’ assistant skipper was ran ragged by Jefferson Montero, the speedy Swansea winger, on Saturday and his cross after beating Ivanovic lead to the Swans opening and equalising goal.
The chance for Baba to earn a staring role may however come sooner than expected, if Mourinho decides to utilise Azpilicueta in his more preferred role allowing Baba to play at left back. Although this appears difficult as Mourinho also rates Ivanovic highly.
Nevertheless, if Baba does not earn a starting role in the team this season, next campaign may be his time as Ivanovic is over 30 and his contract will expire in 2016. Hence, the policy the club has adopted regarding giving only a year deal to players above 30 may not be accepted by Ivanovic – who will be free to leave for another club abroad.
For now, though, it is assumed Chelsea will line up the following way with Baba in the starting line-up.