Baba Rahman was one of those older players who had been expected to head out on loan this summer, but for one reason or another, ended up staying with Chelsea ... Reserves (or the U23 Development Squad, as we call it these days).
The 26-year-old left back was battling injuries throughout last season, which limited not only his playing time but his options in the transfer window. The likes of Middlesbrough in the Championship were linked towards the end, but nothing materialized. And so, Baba stayed with the team, and has training and playing with the Reserves in the PL2, where Chelsea are actually top of the league at the moment with 4 wins from 6.
Baba’s only featured in one of those games, last weekend’s 3-1 loss to Liverpool U23, but he’s played in a few friendlies and apparently played well enough for his national team to not only notice, but to give him a call-up, his first since July 2019, before the latest of his knee injuries struck.
That’s a fairly rare occurrence, to get a senior national team call-up from the reserves team, but Ghana national team head coach CK Akonnor is confident this is the right move for all involved:
“Baba Rahman was once a regular player here; due to injury he was taken out. Now he is back, he is fit, he is playing very well with his team. Unfortunately, he has not had the chance to play in the first team.
“But he has had a couple of friendly matches since August, September and even recently 24th October, which he played against Liverpool’s second team. And these matches, he has played 90 minutes, some are 90 minutes, a lot of 90 minutes and of course 70 minutes.
“So, we have taken a lot of consideration, looking at the fact that we have a little bit of weakness within that area, the full backs so I thought it necessary to bring him to compete with Gideon on that side”
-CK Akonnor; source: Ghana FA
Ghana have a couple Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers to contest in the upcoming international break, both against Sudan.
Good luck, Baba & Co!