Chelsea are on the verge of signing Newcastle United striker Demba Ba after the club has agreed to trigger his £7.5m release clause.
With Fernando Torres having failed to live up to the expectations, a lot more is expected from Ba. Though the Senegal international was never the first choice for Chelsea, but keeping in mind the market values of players in winter transfer window, it was probably the best choice available.
Only time will tell whether Ba will be a hit at the London club, but going by recent history, very few Chelsea strikers have left a major impact at Stamford Bridge. In fact, apart from Drogba, none.
Over the years, several top strikers have plied their trade for Chelsea. The likes of Crespo, Mutu, Kezman, Shevchenko, Torres, Pizzaro, Kalou, Anelka and Sturridge all have failed miserably during their reign at the club. Why?
Only Didier Drogba has achieved the legendary status at the club while Frank Lampard has shared the bulk of goal scoring over the years. Those strikers mentioned above came with lots of promises but none could leave a strong impression. For instance Chelsea fans used to love Shevchenko for his work rate and likewise Anelka for his professionalism, but they failed to do their primary job.
Pre Jose Mourinho era, Chelsea had a wonderful strike partnership of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Eidur Gudjohnsen, but after the partnership was broken, not a single strike partnership developed at The Bridge for a long period of time. Strange isn’t it?
Is it because of the style? Probably the style adopted by Jose and continued that trait by his fellow successors that didn’t suit the players like Crespo, Shevchenko, Pizzaro et al.
May be the circumstances made life difficult for these foreign strikers. Crespo went through troubled phases in personal life when he came to Chelsea; Mutu was thrown out of the club because he was taking cocaine and likewise Shevchenko became the victim of lost pace and being overworked in 20050-06.
Kezman was an utter flop at the club despite having great goal scoring records in Holland. Anelka did well in patches but having played out of position most of the time, he didn’t reach the dizzy heights which was expected from him.
Will the same trait continue with Ba as well? If he is played out of position to accommodate Torres, he may turn out to be another flop. On the other hand, Chelsea’s European flair under Rafael Benitez might not suit the player at all.