Baba Rahman, a name long forgotten after his (minor) role in the disastrous 2015-16 season, followed by a cruciate ligament injury in January 2017 (while on loan at Schalke but playing for Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations), from which he continues to have a very hard time recovering.
Baba spent the first of the two years since rehabbing the knee at Chelsea, then re-joined Schalke last January to continue that effort and start playing again. And while he was able to make a couple appearances at the start of this season, he was not quite up to par and had been just about dropped from the squad altogether. He made a brief return in early December, just ahead of the winter break, for 75 minutes in a meaningless Champions League group match, but nothing since.
So, he is now set to depart the club, cutting short the 18-month loan at the 12-month mark, possibly to join Ligue 1 club Reims until the end of the season.
Once one of the most promising left backs in the Bundesliga, prompting Chelsea to pay upwards of £15-20m (including add-ons) for his services, the now 24-year-old Baba is a prime example of the devastating impact knee injuries can have on a career, even with all the advancement in surgeries and treatments. It’s been two years now that he’s had any meaningful action and he won’t be guaranteed any at Reims either even if they are dealing with their injury issues.
Baba does have another season after the current one on his Chelsea contract, so at least we can ensure that he gets paid while he continues to try to put his career back together. It’s unlikely that we will ever get to see him again in a Chelsea shirt, but at this point, seeing him in any top level team’s shirt would be a great development.