Demba Ba, this time last year was a relative unknown, despite his good run with West Ham, but 16 goals and 1 season later, the story (fast becoming saga) over where and indeed who he will be playing for next season will not go away and keeps growing.
There has been plenty of articles written about why we should keep him, should we keep him, who he will go to and also how much will we get for him. A question that I think needs answering would be how Newcastle could move forward without him.
The Primary concern if he leaves for me will be how compatriot Papiss Cisse will cope without his International partner. Ba is the one who convinced Cisse to come to Newcastle after all, I do not think that Cisse will play any different without Ba on the pitch and the language barrier for Cisse isn’t an issue as there is plenty of French players at Newcastle who can easily translate for him.
I just worry that as time goes by, without his friend there, it may unsettle him by making him wonder why he would get Cisse to come here, then leave a few months later. In all honesty it makes me scratch my head too.
Second to that, if he did leave it would be one less striker for us to use and with the likely departure of Leon Best there would be a real lack of quality strikers and it would need to be resolved with some very good replacements who would need to perform to near the levels of Ba for us to attain any hope of reliving this seasons great form which for me is leaving far too much down to chance, especially if we are bringing in goal scorers from abroad who are also young and lack some experience. A Proven premier league goal scorer like Yakubu may be a good solution to this problem despite his age.
Another issue that could arise from this, which probably started with the Andy Carroll saga is that any good players we have that hit runs of form and catch the eye by the end of a season will be tempted by the big bucks and bright lights of other clubs willing to break the wages cap we have. Players greed and money is an entirely different debate which will be ongoing.
To summarise, to lose Ba will be a loss to us, even if he hit a dry patch, I still think he could come good next year should he stay. If he leaves for a reason other than a purely football related one. I would lose all respect for him as a player and a person as we were the team who gave him a chance after his persistent knee problems and truly embraced him as a club hero despite his short time with us thus far.
Regardless what happens to him, as a club we will move on, replacements will be made and as the old song goes “Que sera, sera whatever will be will be.”
What do you think?