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As a Ghanaian, it is rather unfortunate to see Baba Rahman’s situation at Chelsea. Signed for £21 million last summer, the Ghana international is suffering a similar fate to Ashley Cole and Filipe Luis.
Both were left-backs of significant regard, but neither could match Cesar Azpilicueta. Despite playing out of position—Azpilicueta is a right-back by trade—the Spaniard has made the left side of defence his own at Stamford Bridge in the past few seasons.
|Baba signed for £21m has barely featured for the Blues|
Rahman should remain unperturbed, though. Things are gradually changing at Stamford Bridge and with that significant transfer fee behind him, he has much more credit than one may think right now. Not only that, at 21, Rahman has time on his side.
Lady Time was a big part of why Cole and Luis failed to usurp Azpilicueta; the pair not being of an age where they could afford to wait around to win their place in the starting XI. Cole's career at the highest level was up when Azpilicueta dethroned him, and Luis—now 30—simply couldn't take a gamble. Both needed to be playing games, while Rahman can wait.
|Would the Ghanaian fulfil his potential with the Blues?|
He's defensively sound, yet going forward he has a tendency to struggle in the final third. It's there that his limited left foot can be restrictive. Rahman has no such concerns. Playing in his natural position, he forced the MK Dons defence back and was often found in danger areas, causing problems.
The biggest beneficiary of this was Oscar, who scored his first Chelsea hat-trick in the 5-1 win. On paper at least, Oscar was the left-sided player in Chelsea's three-man attacking midfield. So often he was found in central areas because of Rahman's willingness to push forward on the left flank.
|Oscar scored a hattrick against MK Dons after perfectly linking up with Baba Rahman on the left|
When Azpilicueta features, it often means Chelsea's wide man—normally Eden Hazard on that left side—having to maintain that width. It can be too ridged, and the fluidity of this team isn't quite what it should be.
That's a problem that has dogged Chelsea for some time. Rahman's hope should be to offer a solution to it, like Zouma did when Chelsea required something else in those central areas.
|Baba Rahman could provide a different style to Chelsea's game play which is lacking with Azpilicueta|
Just as he needs to adopt patience when defending, Rahman must remain vigilant in waiting for his chance to become a Chelsea regular.
Chelsea invested £21 million for good reason, and Rahman has the qualities to deliver on that.
Article By: Pulse Sports Ghanaian writer Isaac Darko