Football

Chelsea must join race for Newcastle star

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Former Newcastle striker Demba Ba has perhaps been somewhat unlucky during his 10-month stint with current employers Chelsea.

Signed by the divisive figure of former interim boss Rafael Benitez for a fee of £7 million, the Senegalese international appears to be viewed as little more than a reserve option at Stamford Bridge, an undeserving relic of the hugely unpopular previous regime.

While Ba has evidently not covered himself in glory when he has been given the opportunity to prove his worth, chances have remained few and far between with both Fernando Torres and newcomer Samuel Eto'o obviously far ahead in Jose Mourinho's established pecking order.

Given his total failure to establish himself at the club, it is utterly unsurprising to view recent rumours that link Ba with a move away from Chelsea.

While I feel Ba has been somewhat harshly treated by the Blues hierarchy and has never quite been afforded enough chances to impress, I certainly accept that his time in West London is rapidly reaching its conclusion.

It is my belief, however, that Chelsea should return to the same source for Ba's replacement and attempt to sign French forward Loic Remy.

26-year-old Remy - currently on loan at St. James' Park from Championship outfit Queens Park Rangers - is a formidable striker whose presence would provide an instant boost to Mourinho's current striking unit.

The former Marseille star possesses pace in abundance and has also routinely showcased an admirable guile that ensures he is a sizeable handful for opposition centre-backs across the length and breadth of the Premier League.

Such talent was on full display during the Toon's resolute and somewhat shocking 1-0 victory against Andre Villas-Boas' misfiring Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon.

Although Alan Pardew's committed side were certainly on the backfoot for the majority of the match, Remy notched early on in truly cool and typically composed style to hand Newcastle the victory. 

It speaks volumes of Remy's technique and ability that he was able to instantly leave a lasting impression on a game in which his team were forced to defend for almost an entire 90 minutes.

Indeed, Chelsea themselves were given a stark reminder of the France international's qualities just last weekend.

In another surprise Newcastle win, Remy secured the three points with a wonderful curled effort that beat Petr Cech via a deflection off the inside of the post.

At Stamford Bridge, with Eto'o widely expected to depart after his contract expires at the end of the current campaign, Remy could act as the perfect foil for Romelu Lukaku when the immensely powerful Belgian eventually claims his rightful place in the heart of the Chelsea squad. 

Further competition for the fragile Torres may not also be a negative factor, either. The Spaniard seems to have improved dramatically since Eto'o's arrival, suggesting that a high level of competition could be just what the frequently-maligned Spaniard requires to finally start providing an adequate return on his £50 million price tag.

Ba's Chelsea career is over, that much is painfully obvious. However, if they are looking for a suitable upgrade, then Remy is positively perfect.

With his loan spell set to expire at the end of the season and the player showing little sign that he is truly committed to a long-term future at Newcastle, he appears easily attainable.

With fierce rivals Spurs having been linked with his signature, however, Mourinho must move fast to avoid disappointment.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Newcastle United
Demba Ba
Chelsea
Loic Remy

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