Ba relishing Torres competition

Chelsea striker Demba Ba would relish more competition with Fernando Torres next season.

Last Updated: 25/05/13 at 13:12 Post Comment

Demba: Will challenge Torres but would like to play with striker too

Demba: Will challenge Torres but would like to play with striker too

Chelsea striker Demba Ba would relish more competition with Fernando Torres next season - but is also keen to partner the Spaniard.

Outgoing manager Rafael Benitez tended to rotate his principal forwards after Ba arrived from Newcastle in January.

But with Benitez moving on and Ba's ineligibility for European football no longer an issue, that could change under the next manager.

When asked if the pair could play together, Ba said: "We could do. He is a good man.

"We will have to see the view of the manager who is going to come in.

"We will have to see what he will bring to the team and if he can play two strikers, how he wants it.

"But we are not rivals, no chance. You learn a lot from having competition with players like this - it's good for me.

"I'm getting better and better."

Ba has made a good impression in his first four months at Stamford Bridge, scoring six goals and often looking the team's most dangerous attacking threat.

The Senegal international does feel he owes something to Benitez, who leaves his post as interim boss after this weekend's friendly against Manchester City in New York.

Ba, speaking at a Chelsea youth soccer clinic in Harlem, said: "It's been good since I came and he (Benitez) has been good.

"He made good rotation between me and Fernando.

"I have had the chance to play a lot of games since I came and that has been really good.

"I have learned a lot, about new team-mates and the way Chelsea plays football. I'm very happy."

One frustration for Ba was having to sit out the Blues' Europa League success last week having been cup-tied playing for the Magpies before his £7million move.

The 28-year-old said: "It was frustrating but I knew that from the beginning, so I was happy for the club.

"It was the same with the manager - we knew it from the beginning he was leaving.

"We knew if we won it he was going to go, we were prepared for that."

Jose Mourinho, Chelsea boss from 2004 to 2007, is firm favourite to take charge at the club for a second time.

He will inherit a team in good shape from one-time rival Benitez after a strong finish to the season which also saw them secure third spot in the Barclays Premier League.

"Champions League football next season - I can't wait," said Ba, who maintained his goalscoring touch with the opener in Thursday's 4-3 friendly loss to City in St Louis.

Ba was hoping to pass on some of his knowledge as he met inner-city children at FC Harlem in Manhattan for a coaching session. Other senior players to attend the community event were Petr Cech and David Luiz.

Chelsea have had a relationship with Harlem since last year and are hoping to leave lasting legacies in the places they visit.

Referring to the slogan for the programme, Ba said: "It is like the writing behind me - we are here to play and here to stay.

"We want to do more events like this to be happy to see the kids happy. They are important moments.

"It is good to be here in New York. I like the city and coming down to Harlem to play with the kids.

"I remember when I was young and I had the opportunity to meet a professional football player and I was so excited.

"I know what it means to them so I am very happy."


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