Why Did Jose Mourinho Block Demba Ba's Move to Arsenal on Deadline Day?

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterSeptember 17, 2013

JAKARTA, INDONESIA - JULY 25:  Demba Ba of Chelsea run for the ball during the match between Chelsea and Indonesia All-Stars at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on July 25, 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia.  (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

Demba Ba has spoken up following the collapse of his deadline day loan move to Arsenal last Monday evening.

The Chelsea forward, signed from Newcastle United for £7.5 million in January 2013, has played both sparingly and poorly under Jose Mourinho this season, and farming him out for the year made a lot of sense on paper.

With Romelu Lukaku, Fernando Torres, Andre Schurrle and Samuel Eto'o ahead of him in the pecking order, why not go out, grab some minutes and retain your value?

The Emirates was a fine landing spot for the Senegalese hitman in truth, but despite most of the legwork being done in a deal to take him there, it was called off at the last minute.

"I wanted to play and I want to play. I was ready to go and play there [at Arsenal] but it didn’t happen," the former Hoffenheim forward told The London Evening Standard.

"I won't tell you what we said [him and Jose] on the phone, but I told him that if I stay I will keep fighting for the club and the flag. "

There have been a few theories regarding what stopped the transfer flying around, and Ba's refusing to comment lends us no help in deducing why a perfectly acceptable loan was cancelled.

It wouldn't be a surprise to many if Mourinho was playing the Gunners the entire time. Knowing Arsene Wenger needed a striker to help Olivier Giroud shoulder the load, Mou had originally OK'd the deal.

But when Mesut Ozil was confirmed as an Arsenal player, the deal was revoked, with many believing Chelsea did not want to lend help to a "title rival." Amazing what the addition of one £42.5 million playmaker can do, isn't it?

The only question surrounds the late nature in which it was called off. Ozil was widely expected to become a Gunner from the evening before, Sunday, as Wenger originally initiated contact with the German on Saturday.

Mourinho will have been well aware of this, and perhaps wasted Arsenal's time with a deal who knew he would cancel to stop Wenger finding a backup striker. Sneaky stuff.

The other potential solution is far less cynical, and far more caring of a player's future.

Lukaku was a peripheral figure in Chelsea's opening slate of games and missed a penalty in the European Super Cup loss to Bayern Munich.

Despite him being the prototypical Mourinho striker—a well-rounded, strong, technically excellent forward who can carry the team on his back—it was clear he wasn't in Mou's plans.

The signing of Eto'o only confirmed that, and Lukaku was sent on loan to Everton in the closing stages of transfer deadline day.

There's a chance Mou was being strategic and, given the choice of sending either one, opted to give Lukaku guaranteed first-team football and continue his exponential progress. It's a fantastic club to take a stint in with, and there are some home comforts in the form of Kevin Mirallas.

Keeping Ba, a seasoned striker, is the safer option from a mental standpoint, and despite his lacklustre performances this season, will likely grab a few goals in lesser games.

From a fan's perspective, each reasoning seems just as likely as the other when it comes to Mourinho.