Despite his insistence that right-back Cesar Azpilicueta is the best left-back in the Chelsea ranks, with one of the game’s finest practitioners in the same position, Filipe Luis, acting as his understudy, Blues boss Jose Mourinho seems keen to improve in this area.
Augsburg’s Abdul Rahman Baba is who the Portuguese wants to tip his left-back department into a state of overpopulation after the Ghanaian’s impressive campaign in the Bundesliga.
The 20-year-old was an integral part of the Fuggerstadter side that finished fifth in the German top flight, the reward for which is a place in next season’s Europa League.
It’s the first time the Bavarian minnows have qualified for a continental competition, though they may well have to tackle the tournament without the services of Baba.
In addition to Chelsea, Manchester United and Champions League finalists Juventus are the other reported parties in pursuit of the 11-cap Black Stars international and their affection is easy to understand.
With a mean of 3.5 tackles per outing, no fellow Bundesliga defender boasts a better average when it came to dispossessing opponents last term.
Hamburg midfielder Valon Behrami is the only player of any position to best Baba’s efforts in this respect.
The youngster supplemented this figure with averages of 2.7 interceptions and 2.6 aerial duels won in an average league game.
These stellar defensive stats were complimented with a respectable four assists, suggesting Baba is au fait with the art of attacking too.
Statistically speaking, it’s his defensive acumen that will appeal above all else, suggesting Chelsea is the best prospective home for the left-back.
It’s been reported on multiple occasions that Luis will be shown the Stamford Bridge exit door on account of the frustrating campaign he has endured in west London.
In terms of playing style, Baba looks an ideal replacement for the Brazilian, whose area of expertise is also breaking down opposition attacks, while he is of an age where a peripheral role in the squad of an elite outfit isn’t likely to be a cause for annoyance.
Bearing this in mind, should Chelsea sell Luis, the chances of the Ghanaian speedster becoming a Blues player by September 3rd will be distinctly improved, rendering the 7/2 about him doing so a decent punt.