From ESPN FC:
Alan Pardew on Demba Ba's move to Chelsea: "It's done. He will go to Chelsea with our blessing. This club is bigger than any player." #NUFC— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 2, 2013
Ba has been the one bright spot for Newcastle this season, having scored 13 goals in league competition—not far off of the measly 20 points Newcastle has on the league table this year.
It's been a rough season for the team.
So, who are the winners and losers in this deal? Which folks will be smiling with glee, and who might be full of disgust at the move?
Let's find out.
Winner: Chelsea's Books
From a business standpoint, this was a stroke of brilliance by Chelsea, at least in my opinion.
If it's true that Chelsea triggered a release clause around £7 million, the Blues got one heck of a deal for a player who would start up top for most teams given his recent form and would normally cost far more to acquire.
Chelsea gets hassled for simply throwing money around, but give the Blues credit here for spending wisely.
Loser: Newcastle's Fans
Newcastle's shot at reaching the top four this year ended a while ago. Now, the best player the team had this season by far is gone.
You've got to feel bad for Newcastle fans.
The team has been ravaged by injuries this season, has generally underperformed and now loses Ba, who has been a revelation for the past year-and-a-half. Newcastle went from a team that finished fifth last season to a squad that is dangerously close to the relegation zone.
Winner: Fernando Torres
Finally, Torres can take a break.
The Spaniard has played a ton this season, appearing in 32 games already. Now, Chelsea has a striker it trusts in Ba, so Torres can take a break now and again in league play or in the Capital One and FA Cup.
Enjoy the rest, Mr. Torres. After your hectic schedule to start the year, you've earned it.
Loser: Fernando Torres
Yup, this deal could be a very bad thing for Torres as well.
See, Ba is a man on excellent form right now, and his 13 goals in league play are second-most in the league. If he comes to Chelsea and tears it up while Torres struggles, he could easily find himself as the first-choice striker.
And Torres could find himself stewing on the bench, his sour face even more sour than normal.
If Torres sees Ba's addition as a challenge to up the level of his own play, Chelsea will be the better for it. But if Torres sees Ba as nothing but a threat and starts to press, he could find himself out of favor very quickly.