Andy Gray column: Demba Ba may end up regretting Chelsea move

Demba Ba will struggle to play every game with competition from Fernando Torres at Chelsea, writes Andy Gray

By Andy Gray
demba ba
Demba Ba has scored 13 goals so far this season makeroadssafe, via Flickr

demba ba

Demba Ba is set to complete his transfer from Newcastle to Chelsea but I wouldn’t have moved anywhere in my career if it meant I played less – even it meant I earned significantly more money.

The money aspect is the thing that worries me about the transfer. If that is Ba’s reason for moving, then it’s not one I would agree with.

Under the system Rafael Benítez and Chelsea play now, it’s difficult to see Ba fitting in anywhere.

We don’t know whether Benítez will alter his system, but I tend to think not. He has too many players like Oscar, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Marko Marin, who all float about and aren’t tied down to any real position – they certainly don’t have any defensive duties.

They could play Ba and Torres up front and then have Mata one side and Hazard the other and then play with two central midfield players – it would be very narrow, though.

If I was Benítez, I would have a look at that, although you would think they will stick with one up top.

You tend to think Ba won’t play every game the way he did at Newcastle. Is that a good career move? Will earning twice as much keep him happy? I don’t know the guy or his mentality.

It wouldn’t keep me happy – I would much rather be at a club like Newcastle playing week-in-week-out and scoring goals than going to a club where I can’t even be guaranteed a game.

But he’s going to earn a lot more than he would at Newcastle.

There’s nothing wrong with moving for money, but I always look back at when Roy Keane was tempted to move away from Manchester United to Italy many years ago.

Roy turned around and said: ‘Hold on a minute, what’s the difference? I would much rather play at United and end up with £30m than go to Inter Milan and end up with £50m, because I know I wouldn’t be as happy’.

Therein lies the answer for me. There are certain people who will move just for money and at the end of their career they’ll think nothing of it, because a lot of players see football as a job now.

But when you’re someone who wants to contribute and win things and play football matches, it’s a different kettle of fish.

Ba is allegedly on £40,000-a-week, plus £20,000 every time he steps on the pitch, so that’s around £250,000 every month.

An ordinary guy supporting Newcastle cannot comprehend those figures, and yet they’re not good enough to keep the guy at the club.

But each to his own. Obviously if you go to a bigger club and you’re playing every week then you have to go, and if you’re earning more money that’s great.

To be fair, Ba is one of the top goal-scorers this season in this league, and if you’re Chelsea and get £12m for Daniel Sturridge, and pay £7.5m for Ba, that’s some good business.

Only Robin van Persie and Luis Suárez have got more goals than him – 13 league goals is an excellent return in a struggling team, so Chelsea have got themselves a real player.

But the bottom line is, I don’t think he’ll be happy sitting on the bench.

Andy Gray is an official ambassador for – Football’s Social Network. Available now for FREE online or at the App Store.


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