When the Ghana international signed for Chelsea in a major £ 23 million move from Augsburg in 2015, he appeared to be spearheading a major Blues revamp.
When Baba Rahman signed for Chelsea in a £ 23 million ($ 31 million) move from Augsburg in 2015, he appeared to be spearheading a major revamp of the Blues’ defensive lineup.
Five years later, he is firmly part of the club’s under-23 organization rather than the first team after returning from a third loan period away from Stamford Bridge last summer.
At 26, with a contract until 2022 and a regular member of the Ghana international team, Rahman should be entering the prime of his career at Chelsea.
However, unless there is a noticeable change, you are done.
Rahman is a far cry from the player Chelsea decided to spend heavily on after their only Bundesliga season.
The dynamic teenager had earned a reputation for tackling on the left side of Augsburg’s defense while hitting well above their weight to finish fifth.
He was hired to replace outgoing Filipe Luis, who was returned to sender at Atlético de Madrid due to his inability to effectively carry out José Mourinho’s tactical instructions.
And Rahman was expected to act as a stand-in for César Azpilicueta on the left back before he finally took on the role.
However, Rahman’s story is all too familiar about the woes that have been seen in the best Premier Leauge clubs over the years – he made his big move too early, was hampered by injuries, and went from manager to manager in a time of great turmoil without the time or space to prove himself.
Now, with Chelsea breaking the bank last summer with Ben Chilwell at left-back, Rahman is left playing reserve team football without a place on the Premier League roster or even a roster number to hold on to.
After arriving in England in 2015, Rahman’s first season at Chelsea went as expected. He was a useful player on the roster, with 15 Premier League appearances.
Unfortunately for him, Chelsea’s campaign was anything but expected as the champions got off to a terrible start and were just above the relegation zone in December when manager Mourinho was fired.
Rahman was not to blame for this mess and was included more regularly in the second half of the season under new boss Guus Hiddink, playing 90 minutes in seven of Chelsea’s last 10 Premier League games.
But now he was in the difficult situation of being a player hired by a coach as a future prospect, who now had to convince another of his worth.
Antonio Conte decided Rahman would be better served by a loan, and returned to Germany with Schalke for the 2016-17 season.
However, a promising campaign was ruined in January at the Africa Cup of Nations with Ghana, where a ligament in his knee was torn.
While away from Stamford Bridge, and then on the treatment table, Conte had found his preferred 3-4-3 formation in Chelsea, a role for which the attacking-minded Rahman would have ironically been perfect.
Instead, new signing Marcos Alonso was able to establish himself as a first choice on Conte’s title-winning team.
Schalke had seen enough in Rahman in the first half of 2016-17 to renew his loan for the following season, but the Ghanaian’s luck with injuries remained dismal, and he played just 33 minutes in the Bundesliga in 2017- 18.
Now firmly caught between the mass of fringe first-team members and young hopefuls who ride Chelsea’s loan carousel each season, Rahman enjoyed more success in 2018-19 when he was sent to French club Reims in January, making 11 appearances, including 10 where he played the full 90 minutes.
He ended his time in Ligue 1 scoring and claiming an assist in a 3-1 win over champion Paris Saint-Germain on the final day of the season.
However, that was not enough to convince new Chelsea manager Frank Lampard to give Rahman a chance, even with the Blues under a transfer embargo.
Rahman was now a forgotten man, a £ 23 million footnote to a decision made by a manager now replaced four times.
The full-back suffered another knee injury in his third loan period away from Chelsea, this time with Real Mallorca in La Liga, and was restricted to three appearances before the coronavirus pandemic hit.
So far in 2020-21, Rahman has played 160 minutes in Premier League 2 in two Chelsea U23 losses to Liverpool and Everton. If you stay in shape through January, your reward will likely be another loan to another corner of Europe.
His Chelsea career will likely come out of its misery next summer, as the Blues look to get some sort of financial compensation before his contract expires, and as a talented and offensive-minded left-back in his twenties, he’ll make a big hit. good signature for someone.
However, Rahman’s time at Chelsea will be marred by the question of what could have been.
source: – target