Relatively unknown to most Chelsea fans, Baba Rahman's arrival at Stamford Bridge by the end of the last transfer window was a tad surprising move since he was brought to fill in for a experienced left-back in Filipe Luis, who went back to his former club Atlético Madrid. The transfer was so sudden that even the player himself was surprised by the fact that Chelsea was chasing him, although it was hard to deny a move to London:
"It was a surprise when Chelsea came in for me, but when the chance came I had to take it. I couldn't say no because I was getting a chance to play under one of the best managers in the world in Jose Mourinho.
"For me, it was amazing and I was happy to work for a team like Chelsea. That's why I accepted. Another reason is I know I can challenge for trophies here — which is a dream of every player."
England isn't the easiest place for a player to adapt, especially when you're coming from a mid-table German side to one of the biggest clubs in the world. Luckily for Rahman, he's able to get help from one of the best players that Chelsea have ever had, who also happens to share his nationality:
"I feel a lot more pressure here than at Augsburg and Michael [Essien] has helped me with that. I knew I was coming to Chelsea in the summer. He has helped me a lot. He has been giving me advice since I joined, telling me to keep fighting and that I will be a success here."
"I have been in contact with him since the start of the season. It's great to have someone like Michael taking an interest in me and I get a lot of tips from him. He is a big hero in Ghana. I like him a lot personally. He is one of the greatest players Ghana has ever produced."
"It was difficult when I came here. But I am trying to incorporate myself into the team. It's difficult to get in the side, but when you have the chance you just have to perform."
Rahman was first brought to Chelsea to be César Azpilicueta's back-up at left-back, but Branislav Ivanovic's injury had him featuring in a few games as a starter. In these appearances, the player showed his attacking prowess, supporting whoever was at the left wing with overlaps; but he also revealed a lot of defensive deficiencies in his play. Baba himself knows that he still has a long way ahead to become a Chelsea starter -- and he's well aware of where he needs to improve:
"I am going to improve game after game. I think I can be a better player. I have learned a lot regarding the football. I have learned the style of football played here and how much my team-mates work a lot. I think I can do better with my tackling and my passing."
"I am the kind of left-back who is fast on the break but my defending needs to improve. I just want to tell the fans that I want to do better and they're going to see much more from me."
-Baba Rahman; Source: The London Evening Standard
Ivanovic is fit and he will probably return to his place as a starter fullback in the next game against Norwich City, which means Baba's playing time will once again diminish. But in his few appearances, he's shown the potential that had him lauded as one of the best left-backs in the Bundesliga last season, along with players such as Ricardo Rodríguez and David Alaba. It's now up to him to fulfil this promise -- and maybe become a staple in Chelsea's line-ups for the future.