FEATURE: Ba transfer spells the end?
Demba Ba heading to Shanghai Shenhua in China may represent the closing stages of the Senegal striker’s career, but the goals will continue to flow.
The move shocked many when the switch from Turkish Super Lig side Besiktas was confirmed, hours after many English daily newspapers believed the 30-year-old was heading for West Brom.
Ba would be a valuable asset to many of Europe’s biggest clubs, with his goals per game ratio impressive.
After netting 27 times in 44 appearances with Besiktas, it looked like the only move he would be making was back to England, after admitting his interest in returning to the Premier League.
However, he now finds himself plying his trade in a relatively unknown league, with a low level of talent to test himself against. So why this move at this time in his career?
The former Chelsea striker can’t be considered a veteran, having only turned 30 in May and is maintaining a high standard.
It is the same standard that saw him net 14 goals in 51 irregular Chelsea appearances, on top of 29 goals at St James’ Park in 57 games for Newcastle.
This is another big impact statement being made by Asian football, in their attempts to raise their profile. However, the move will be more beneficial to Shanghai than it will to Ba.
Just two seasons ago he was at Chelsea, and now will be largely out of the public eye, with the exception of the Chinese media.
It is clear the wage package on offer was too good to turn down, after admitting he was happy with life in Turkey, despite eyeing a return to England. However, there is no understanding, as of yet, how much Ba will be paid.
On top of the personal benefits such a move makes, he may feel that his international career is coming to a close, with a great selection of young attacking options available to Senegal.
Money can talk and it is evident that finances has been a large deciding factor in his £9 million move.
37 goals in the Bundesliga for Hoffenheim from 97 appearances gives an idea of how prolific a goalscorer Shanghai Shenhua possess, and expect him to excel even further at this level.
Ba already has proved throughout his career that once he starts scoring it becomes contagious. Scoring in consecutive games has become a bit of a habit for the Senegal international.
But don’t rule out a big move in the future for Ba, as Ivorian Didier Drogba proved, when ending his short but successful stint with Shanghai Shenhua to eventually return to Chelsea and win another EPL title.
West Brom and fellow suitors Crystal Palace should continue to take an interest, as we have learnt from Drogba, despite who they may chose to represent class is permanent and can step back up to the required level.
But where Ba’s future goes from here is solely up to him. He can chose money or chose to return to scoring goals at the highest level of the game.