French footballer Demba Ba moved to the highest rung of international football this past week after being acquired by London giants Chelsea. And he proved to have the appropriate pedigree for such a grand employer, as he scored two goals in his English Premier League debut as part of a 5-1 defeat of Southampton.
A 27-year-old striker of Senegalese descent, Ba completed a Â£7.5million move from Newcastle United. The Southampton match was actually not his first for Chelsea, as he debuted in Chelseaâ€™s FA Cup third-round tie at St Maryâ€™s the very next day after his arrival.
â€œI donâ€™t think I have made a debut like that before. Thatâ€™s a great one and Iâ€™m pleased, Iâ€™m going to enjoy it a little bit,â€™ he told the press. â€œThe three [Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard] behind me make football look easy. I just try to run in behind and try to create space for them. I know when they have some space they will be very dangerous.â€
â€œI woke up on Wednesday and I prepared myself to play [for Newcastle] against Everton,â€™ he said. â€˜I got a text from the manager that said I needed to come and see him. From that moment I knew that everything was fixed and Iâ€™d go. I travelled down as quickly as possible to London to watch the [Chelsea] game against QPR and after that the next day I had a medical so it was very busy.â€
The move ended Baâ€™s short but successful 18-month stay at Newcastle in which he scored 29 goals in 54 league appearances. Prior to that he spent a year at fellow London squad West Ham United before their relegation to the Championship League.
â€œWhen a club like Chelsea wants you the decision is going to be easy. They [Newcastle supporters] probably wonâ€™t be too happy but the true fans will understand,â€™ he added.
Baâ€™s arrival and immediate impact has raised questions as to whether he can play alongside celebrated but struggling striker Fernando Torres. â€œAsk the manager,â€™ Ba replied. â€œIf I have to play with him, Iâ€™ll play. If I have to be on the bench, Iâ€™ll be on the bench. Thatâ€™s it.â€ A perfectly diplomatic answer form Chelseaâ€™s new scoring sensation.