Demba Ba: Player Profile
- Squad No: 29
- Position: Forward
- Age: 27
- Birth Date: May 25, 1985
- Birth Place: Sevres, France
- Height: 1.89m
- Weight: 84 kg
Signing for Chelsea from Newcastle in the 2013 January transfer window, Ba completed a rise that occured in only a few small years in England.
When he began his career in France, he suffered and failed to make the most of trials at Lyon and Auxerre. Choosing to look further afield, he signed for Watford as a young player in 2005, but found himself let go once Ray Lewington was sacked.
Returning to France, he signed for Rouen on a one-year contract, and Ba enjoyed a highly successful season with the club, scoring 22 goals in 26 games to showcase his potential. Belgian club Mouscron snapped him up at the end of the season, but a serious injury kept him sidelined and he was forced to move to the German second division with Hoffenheim to regain his footballing skills.
Ba immediately made an impact and helped the side back to the Bundesliga. His goals propelled them up the table and they finished seventh in their first season back in the top flight and he caught the attention of Senegal, who called him up to their squad - scoring on his debut against Tanzania in June 2007.
A disagreement with Hoffenheim saw him seek a move, but he failed a medical with Stuttgart and turned his attentions again to England. Stoke came close, but the striker failed another medical, leading Tony Pulis to say: "Obviously they found something which could cause problems later". West Ham pounced and offered him a pay-as-you-play deal, which he accepted in January 2011.
Seven goals in 12 games ensured that attention was back on his football, and not his knees, and Ba chose to leave the Hammers when Newcastle came calling in July. Proving that he was no injury crock, Ba blossomed at St James' Park and forged himself a reputation as one of the most potent strikers in the Premier League over the next two seasons.
When 2012-13 arrived, he was linked with moves to a host of top clubs who had found that he had a £7.5 million release clause in his contract. Chelsea were the first to make an approach and he secured a move to the European champions in January 2013.