The two players Rafa Benitez signed as Chelsea interim manager - where are they now?

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When it comes to Premier League clubs hiring and firing managers, no one compares to Chelsea.

No less than 10 permanent or interim appointments have been axed since Roman Abramovich became the Blues' owner in 2003, with Mauricio Sarri (11) now in charge.

Claudio Ranieri, Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Guus Hiddink all lost their jobs between 2003 and 2010.

Carlo Ancelotti then lasted two years before Andre-Villas Boas, Roberto Di Matteo and Rafael Benitez all arrived and departed in the same amount of time.

A second stint for Mourinho followed Benitez's exit in 2013, while Hiddink also made a return in 2015 only to be replaced by Antonio Conte.

And as we all know, Conte won the Premier League in his first season as Chelsea manager but failed to make the top four in his second, which saw the Italian leave.

Safe to say Chelsea have been ruthless with their managers down the years, but one man who somewhat bucked the trend of getting sacked was Benitez.


Following the dismissal of Di Matteo in November 2012, the former Liverpool boss was appointed interim manager until the end of the season.

His title of 'interim' meant that he only had six months to turn things around at Chelsea, in which time he guided them to third in the Premier League and won the Europa League.

Benitez departed in May as a relative success having inherited a Champions League-winning squad and made two signings of his own in the 2013 January transfer window.

So what happened to those two players?


Benitez's first signing as interim manager was Demba Ba, who joined Chelsea for just £7m following an impressive two-year spell at Newcastle United.

Sunderland v Chelsea - Capital One Cup Quarter-Final

Ba never quite reached the same heights at Stamford Bridge, though, so he joined Besiktas in 2014 and then Shanghai Shenhua a year later. He's still at the club, aged 33.


Chelsea fans will be forgiven for not knowing who Wallace Oliveira is. He arrived in west London as an exciting 18-year-old right-back with a huge future ahead of him.


Now 24, the Brazilian is actually without a club having been released in July following unsuccessful loan spells at Inter Milan, Vitesse, Carpi and Gremio. Not one of Benitez's best signings.

Rafael Benitez
Jose Mourinho
Premier League

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