Baba Rahman holds clear the air talks with Antonio Conte
Chelsea defender Baba Rahman's career is back on track at Chelsea after a recent clear the air talk with coach Antonio Conte who might give the Ghanaian a second bite of the cherry at Stamford Bridge.
The 23-year-old's career has not quite panned out as one might have expected when the Blues forked over £14m (plus bonuses) to sign the 21-year-old Ghanaian international from FC Augsburg where he was one of the Bundesliga’s breakout stars. Under Mourinho and then Hiddink, Baba made 23 appearances in what was a turbulent first season at Stamford Bridge, never quite managing to impress either manager while the rest of Chelsea’s title-winners crumbled around him.
Known more for his attacking prowess than defensive ability, Baba also failed to impress Antonio Conte last summer — he was too attacking for Conte’s 4-2-4 setup — and was sent on loan to Schalke 04 instead. When Conte switched to a 3-4-3 a couple months later and thus changed the definition of what he needed from a left (wing-)back, perhaps he ended up rueing that decision.
At Schalke, Baba was splitting time with now-Arsenal left back Sead Kolašinac before heading off to the Africa Cup of Nations with Ghana. But in their very first game of the competition, Baba blew out his knee and was ruled out for the rest of the season and beyond. Knee injuries are never easy and Baba’s ACL and meniscus tears were turning out to be “more complex” than anticipated.
Schalke had shown some interest in re-signing him on loan this summer, and Baba was seen recently doing some light ball-work at Cobham, but since he’s not expected to be able to contribute at all until later this year (which also rules him out from backup duties to Marcos Alonso), they’ve moved on to other targets. A loan in January might make sense, but we’ll just have to wait and see how things go for the 23-year-old.
The Ghanaian is back at Cobham where he is making giant strides towards his recovery and there are genuine signs that Conte has been impressed with his attitude and is willing to give him another look.