I think it’s fair to say that Demba Ba has been a revelation for Newcastle United so far this season.
In fact I think it’s even fair to say that what I just wrote is a bit of an understatement.
Don’t get me wrong, I was one of the people who looked at his record and knew he would score goals for us, but even I didn’t expect him to score as many as he has done or become as important to the team as he has been already this season.
Naturally when a player hits the kind of form that Demba Ba was in before his trip to Africa, clubs will start to take notice. I’m on about real big hitters here that play in the Champions League. This appears to be the case with Ba, although old Harry Redknapp had a helping hand in intensifying the speculation with his public revelation of a clause in Ba’s contract.
Whilst a lot of that has died down since Demba revealed that he had no intention of leaving Newcastle in the January transfer window, I’ve started to wonder if his commitment to Newcastle United is as long term as fans would like. I’m getting the feeling that Ba himself is eyeing a summer move but I sincerely hope that I’m wrong on that score.
You see on one hand Ba does seem to enjoy it here. He is scoring goals in a team that is in the higher reaches of the league with the possibility of pushing for Europe over the final 16 games of the season. We’ve also just spent an awful lot of cash bringing his international team-mate and good friend Papiss Demba Cisse to the club, so there are definite reasons for him to stay.
On the other hand there are Ba’s overtures about Paris Saint-Germain and his admission that he would love to play for his boyhood club, who now have the finances to make an offer that Newcastle probably won’t refuse. There is also that talk from Philippe Auclair who claims that he knows Ba’s advisers well and insists there is some kind of “specific plan” in place regarding his future. Then there are Ba’s own words to consider. Quick to quash rumours of a January departure, the same can’t be said for any hint of commitment beyond the summer. Pretty much everything Ba has said has involved not going beyond the summer, which is a concern.
Now I’ve kind of gone past all of this badge kissing, chest beating, tubthumping talk. I don’t buy it anymore and I’d be suspicious if Ba turned round and said all is well and he loves it here etc etc. Basically along the same lines as what Andy Carroll said. Because of him pretty much everything that a footballer says these days is sprinkled with liberal helpings of salt as I listen to it.
Of course we all know what happened with Andy Carroll so perhaps Ba is just trying to avoid backing himself into some kind of corner? Maybe he is boxing clever by being non-committal on his future and is basically neither confirming nor denying any intention? Maybe I’m just being a bit of a fanny and worrying about nothing?
I just can’t help but feel we are a stepping stone for him, unless we can get him to sign a new deal now that he has proved his worth to the team. The problem with that is you then have to consider his knees which by all accounts could go at any moment. Mind you, they’ve been fine so far and a knee or anything could go at any time with any player I guess so…
What do you think?
A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.