Baba Rahman’s Chelsea career really hasn’t gone to plan, has it?
Last summer, he arrived from Augsburg for an initial £14million fee, rising to a potential £22m.
But, despite the Blues suffering a fairly disappointing campaign where they finished tenth, Rahman failed to hold down a regular starting position in left-back.
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But surely things would be different under Antonio Conte.
With 32-year-old Branislav Ivanovic suffering a poor campaign, some thought that Cesar Azpilicueta could be moved to right-back with Rahman being first choice left-back.
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However, that won’t be the case as the Ghana international has joined Schalke on a season-long loan. And the 22-year-old has explained why he was deemed surplus to requirements by Conte.
"Chelsea manager Antonio Conte told me that he wants his team to be very defensive, but I am a rather offensive full-back," Rahman told Ruhr Nachrichten, per Goal.com.
"So I would have had very little playing time. Conte advised me to leave on loan. We will see what happens after this season.”
A move to Schalke was probably an easy decision for Rahman. Not only will he be likely to play more first-team football, but he will be working under a manager he knows very well.
"I already know Markus Weinzierl from my time at Augsburg and we worked together very well there. He always gave me a lot of confidence. That is one of the reasons why I think Schalke were the best option for me,” he said.
And after a return to the Bundesliga, Rahman took a parting shot at the Premier League.
"A lot of players in England are very powerful, whereas in Germany you see some better football," he said.
"A lot of Premier League teams are still very much playing kick and rush football."
Whether we see Rahman back in the Premier League again remains to be seen. Conte wants him to be more defensive to fit in at Stamford Bridge but it seems he’d rather remain in Germany if possible.
But with Rahman being shown the exit door, the Italian boss will be well aware he needs defensive reinforcements before the season starts. John Terry and Gary Cahill certainly aren’t getting any younger with them both in their thirties, while Kurt Zouma is returning from a serious knee injury.
In terms of the full-back positions, Rahman’s departure leaves just Azpilicueta and Ivanovic as the only senior players.
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