Senegal striker Demba Ba may not have been the biggest name that the Blues could have acquired in the January transfer window, but it was the perfect signing for the club both now and for the future.
The Blues elected to sign Ba, despite the desire of many fans to see the club add a bigger name such as Gonzalo Higuain or Radamel Falcao, and they could not have made a better decision.
It's not often that a potentially elite striker can be found on the transfer market for cheap. However, that's just what Rafa Benitez did when he signed Ba.
Ba came from Newcastle to Chelsea with a transfer fee of only £7 million. Considering that signing a striker the likes of Higuain or Falcao could have cost upwards of £40 million, Ba was considerably cheaper than the other options that Chelsea could have pursued to add punch to the lineup.
After the high-profile signing of Fernando Torres ultimately provided inconsistent dividends, Benitez wasn't in a great position to spend big on offensive firepower once again.
In Ba the club got the perfect combination of talent and fiscal responsibility.
Not only did Ba come cheap, but also he has proven capable of taking the lead when it comes to being the primary goal scorer.
Playing the role of striker for Newcastle United this season, Ba is third in all of the EPL with 13 goals on the campaign. Whether Ba can continue his excellent production playing in the spotlight that comes with being a star for Chelsea remains to be seen, but 13 goals to this point of the season is impressive, regardless of who he is playing for.
The Blues have struggled with Torres' inconsistency all season, and it has held back the team's attack. With someone else sliding into the striker role that has proven he can capitalize, Chelsea will be that much more dangerous.
Speaking of Torres, the signing of Ba affords the Blues much more flexibility with their lineup when it comes to the embattled Spaniard.
Obviously Ba has been signed to replace Torres. The club wouldn't have been so anxious to bring him aboard if it didn't ultimately decide that he was a better option than Torres.
However, that doesn't mean that Torres will become a useless member of the club. There are several different routes it can go with the former star.
The first option would be to put him out on the wing. This would involve a conscious move to becoming a more offensive-oriented club, but with Torres, Ba and Hazard on the attack, Chelsea would be very difficult to defend.
Torres could also become a valuable asset on the bench.
While he no longer possesses the touch to find the net consistently, he still has the capability to score in spurts and could be used when the club is down and is desperate to make something happen.
Anytime you can create more flexibility in your lineup, that's a good thing, and that's exactly what Ba offers Chelsea at this point.
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