Marcel Desailly and Ricardo Carvalho remain my two most favorite Chelsea players ever, the latter especially so since he wore the shirt during the prime years of his career. Those two also remain the two best central defenders I've ever seen play for the Blues, and the two players I've tried my best to emulate whenever I played. Obviously, I didn't do a very good job since I'm writing about them, rather than making millions somewhere in the professional game.
In any case, both Desailly and Carvalho came from a non-English league background, but both adapted very well to the Premier League. And this is where Baba Rahman can apparently take heart as well, at least according to Mourinho.
"I go back to one of the best defenders the Premier League has ever had, Ricardo Carvalho. He was in big trouble for three, four, five months. He said he couldn't adapt to the change from the Portuguese League and the Champions League to the Premier League: the way attacking players were playing, the way he had to adapt and learn how to use his position and his body. He was a super player but it was hard for him for three or four months. It's a problem of experience and being adapted to the Premier League. It's depends on the characteristics of the player."
"Baba is really good with the ball, he's very fast, but he's learning how we play and how we defend. The fact he came to us in the last days of the market took from him the possibility to work in pre-season, but he's a good player for sure and we trust him."
-Jose Mourinho; source: Chelsea FC
Incidentally, Carvalho talked about something very similar just the other day in his interview with Chelsea TV's Legends series, about opting for the challenge of England rather than the more familiar style of Spain in his big-money move away from the Portuguese league. His path to the best Premier League center back wasn't simple or straightforward; he had to beat out William Gallas first and then, the following season, even picked a famous public fight with Mourinho. But it all worked out quite well in the end.
Riccy C's success of course doesn't mean anything as far as Baba's concerned. But if you squint just the right way, perhaps this all means that there are some minutes to come the young left back's way pretty soon. Though perhaps not quite just yet in today's game.
UPDATE: Or already in today's game! Go on, Baba!