Chelsea loanee Abdul Rahman Baba joined PAOK Thessaloniki in January in his latest bid to restart his career after a series of devastating knee injuries, and so far, things are going pretty well for him. He’s made an appearance in every game since late February, and there have even been glimpses here and there of the talent that prompted Chelsea to acquire him from Bundesliga side Augsburg back in 2015.
The 26-year-old (still just 26!) had one of his best games for PAOK in their 2-1 win over AEK Athens in the second leg of the Greek Cup semi-finals on Thursday. AEK were leading the game 1-0 and the tie was level at 1-1 on aggregate. Extra time looked certain.
However, Baba had other plans, and he pressed high to win the ball from a poor clearance in the opposition box, bring the ball to his feet, hold off several defenders, and find a perfect seeing-eye through-ball among all the legs to Michael Krmenčík, who blasted the shot into the roof of the net. PAOK would go on to score one more goal in injury time, thereby winning 3-1 on aggregate.
PAOK are reportedly extremely happy with the Chelsea lonaee’s performances, and are already contemplating keeping him beyond the summer (although they prefer another loan move over a permanent transfer for now).