We may no longer have Dem...ba. Or Drog...ba. And we may never have Pog..ba. But if we play our cards right, we might just have Ba...ba. Baba! Abdul Baba Rahman, that is. He's not a striker or a midfielder. He's a left back, and just one of several with whom we've been linked this transfer season already.
Most of the Baba rumors are sourced either in Ghana (his country of birth) or Germany (his current station). Chelsea are usually just one of many named in the hunt, and appear to be "battling" Manchester City, Real Madrid, Juventus, PSG, BVB, and the like for the soon to be 21-year-old's signature. One thing that appears to be working in Chelsea's favor, if we are in fact interested, is Baba's national team coach, who's none other than Avram Grant. Grant had been tangentially involved in the Lazar Markovic shenanigans if memory serves, too, though that didn't necessarily work out as we had hoped. (Or did it?)
At least one source has slapped a rather hefty £20m price tag on Baba's head, which is certainly impressive considering that Augsburg signed him last summer for a paltry €2.5m. I've seen €15m bandied about as well. One thing's for sure, the kid is in demand.
Which is hardly surprising, considering the key role he's played in Augsburg's unexpected 5th place finish this season. By all accounts, he's a pacy, attack-minded player. His defense is improving. IBWM has him as one of their 100 players to watch this year. Xabi Alonso sang his praises (OR DID HE?!), and he made quite a mark against BVB with a couple of crosses at the start of the season. I can't say I'm familiar enough with him to judge whether the praise and the hype is warranted, but here's a report from someone who should be over at Bundesliga Fanatic.
As far as Chelsea are concerned, much of this rumor, like all other left back rumors for us, hinges on the future of Filipe Luis. If he stays (and he hasn't claimed otherwise), then we're probably ok maintaining the status quo with Ivanovic and Azpilicueta ahead of him in the full back pecking order. Assuming Ivanović and his 31-year-old legs don't suddenly hit a wall. If Luís does leave (and that story also keeps popping back up), then we're definitely in need of someone like Baba Rahman. Our academy may be stocked with plenty of talent, but it is a bit light on quality left (or right) backs, and Jay Dasilva is barely 17 years old.
For now, the Baba chatter is nothing more than a tenuous link, at best. But it's worth keeping an eye on, especially if Filipe Luís's situation changes.