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Chelsea striker Demba Ba is edging towards a summer exit, having reportedly informed the club of his intention to leave Stamford Bridge.
The Senegal international has barely featured for the Blues this season under Jose Mourinho, only making three starts in all competitions. It seems that Ba has had about enough of his fringe existence, and has informed the club of his wish to leave.
‘I hope we can find the best option possible,’ said Ba, as quoted by the Metro,
‘I’d like to stay in England. I like other leagues, too. I’d like to try the Italian league.’
‘Nothing’s been confirmed but there are a few teams in Italy who play very good football’
Ba was close to a January move away from the club, with a potential loan move to Arsenal reportedly only failing to materialize after Chelsea opted to send Romelu Lukaku to Everton for the season.
But now it seems the 28-year-old will push through a move come the end of the season, but who else could and should be jumping ship this summer?
1. Ashley Cole
England’s first choice fullback only a few months ago, the decline of Cole has been rapid, unexpected, and rather sad. A terrific operator on the left flank, his exclusion from the first team in favour of the right-footed Cesar Azpilicueta has admittedly worked well for Mourinho, but this doesn’t mean Cole has run his race.
Blessed with a natural athleticism, at 33, Cole can surely still operate at the highest level, and Azpilicueta’s installation this season could just be a changing of the guard; an inevitable ousting that is unavoidable in football.
Cole should move on while he still has the legs to perform, and has been linked with a move to Liverpool this week. With the poor Aly Cissokho unlikely to make his loan move from Valencia permanent, Brendan Rodgers has only the perennially injured Jose Enrique and the youthful Jon Flanagan at his disposal on the left of defence.
The Daily Star have claimed that the Liverpool boss is keen to add Cole to his squad this summer, with the 41-year-old well aware of the defender’s qualities due to his spell as a coach at Stamford Bridge.
2. Fernando Torres
Despite seeming as keen as mustard these days, the now 30-year-old Spaniard should have been ushered out of the club last summer, with his talents well and truly on the wane.
Torres, since his eye-watering £50m move from Liverpool, has scored just 19 goals in 104 league games for Chelsea; a shocking stat that will have Blues fans wincing all over the land.
Serie A side Inter Milan have been credited with an interest in the striker, with club director Piero Ausilio telling Sky Sports Italia (via the Daily Express) that the club want either Torres or Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko at the San Siro next season.
With Chelsea nailed on to buy at least one more striker in the summer, Torres may not get a better chance to join another top European side. Go for it, Fernando!
3. Mohamed Salah
A bit of a curve ball this one, but I reckon Salah would benefit from a season on loan with another top flight Premier League club next season.
The Egyptian is obviously a talented winger, as we saw with his devastating turn of pace in Chelsea’s 6-0 drubbing of Arsenal last weekend; but his chances will remain limited at Stamford Bridge, what with Andre Schurrle, Eden Hazard, and Willian all ahead of him in the pecking order. Even Ramires is deployed ahead of him when a more defensive operator is required on the flanks.
I have no doubt that Salah can make the grade at Chelsea, but considering the quality ahead of him in the pecking order, and that it may take some time to adjust from jumping from the Swiss League to the Premier League, the 21-year-old could improve as a player with a season at a club such as Everton or Newcastle.
What do you think? Who else should exit the Bridge in the summer?