If Demba Ba’s free transfer to Newcastle in 2011-2012 was the bargain of that season, then the prospect of his loan return from Chelsea would certainly be the coup of this one.
Newcastle fans have been desperately crying out for a top class striker to replace Ba, who left in January, and who better to fill the void than Demba himself?
Ba managed 29 goals in 58 games during his first spell on Tyneside and despite his significantly more modest record since joining Chelsea, the striker still represents the high profile type of player necessary to catapult Newcastle back to where they belong – Europe.
Chelsea fans are keen on a deal – a quick scan of their blog sites suggests that the majority would happily offload a striker they’ve already arrogantly dismissed as ‘not on our level.’ Indeed, it seems unless you cost as much as Andorra’s annual budget, you won’t be given much of a chance to impress at Stamford Bridge.
Admittedly, Ba’s stats at Chelsea have been reduced, but I’d put at least half of that down to not being played. He still scored a quite spectacular goal against Manchester United, mind.
If we can get over the petty charges of mercenary, resigning Ba would be a tremendous lift for Newcastle. Ba didn’t refuse to play. He didn’t even hand in a transfer request. He gave his all for the club, right up until his very last game. The fact Chelsea were able to prize him so cheaply was the fault of a poorly drawn up contract by the Newcastle board. And who would begrudge the lad for joining a side that looked poised to win trophies?
The fact is, Ba was the best striker Newcastle have had since Shearer and I’d rather see him back in the black and white than gamble on another French import who’s never even played as a premier league team on FIFA, let alone for one.
Of course, there’ll be some talk of stifling Cisse, but with the arrival of Loic Remy to serve as a conduit, I’m sure even Alan Pardew can figure something out.
Resigning Ba on loan makes sense for everyone involved. Mike Ashley and Joe Kinnear can maintain their parsimonious penny saving, while also delivering a much coveted marquee; Demba rids himself of scapegoat status for Chelsea’s over reliance on midfield; and Newcastle fans can salivate over a selection dilemma that doesn’t involve either Ameobi.
All in all, I really hope he comes back.