Departed Chelsea star slams Mourinho and admits Arsenal move was close
10:38 18 August 2014
Former Chelsea striker Demba Ba has criticised boss Jose Mourinho for his selection policy and blocking his move to Arsenal.
Ba was used sparingly by Mourinho, sitting behind Samuel Eto’o and Fernando Torres in the pecking order, although when given a chance the former West Ham man did get the goals required.
Mourinho allowed the Senegal international to move to Besiktas this summer and has replaced him with the likes of Diego Costa and Didier Drogba.
Ba believes that he was not selected due to the fact Eto’o and Torres were bigger names than him at Stamford Bridge.
‘Sometimes when you are at a club with a lot of big stars, the name counts for more than the statistics,” Ba told the Daily Mail.
“Unfortunately, it was like that in my case.
‘But I am happy I moved from Newcastle to Chelsea and achieved what I did. I have lots of friends there. Eden Hazard is one of my best friends, I am close to Branislav Ivanovic, too.’
Besiktas face Arsenal tomorrow night in their Champions League qualifier first leg in Turkey and Ba is set to be the main man.
The 29-year-old has admitted that he came close to joining the Gunners on more than one occasion, however Mourinho blocked the deal.
‘I always said the move to Arsenal was close. I thought the deal was done and I would just go and do the medical, but it went another way,’ said Ba.
‘Jose has said why it didn’t happen. He was honest, he just didn’t want to give them a striker who could score goals, especially with the arrival of Ozil.
‘Now I am playing Arsenal in such a big match. It’s crazy but I’ve no regret on everything that happened.’