Friday 04 January 2013
Chelsea have bolstered their attacking options by completing the signing of Newcastle United striker Demba Ba for an undisclosed fee.
The Senegal international has agreed a three-and-a-half-year deal with the European club champions, who are third in the Barclays Premier League, and comes in to replace Daniel Sturridge, who joined Liverpool this week, in attack.
"It feels good to be here, I'm very happy and very proud"
Ba, who is eligible for Saturday's FA Cup match at Southampton and was halfway through a three-year deal with Newcastle when Chelsea activated a release clause in his deal, is the joint second-highest scorer in the English top flight with 13 goals this season.
"It feels good to be here, I'm very happy and very proud," Ba, who will wear the No 29 shirt at Stamford Bridge, told the club’s official website. “It was important for me, and for Newcastle, to get my future sorted and now we can move on. Now they have the whole month to buy someone and for me as well, the sooner the better.
"When the club who won the Champions League wants you, the decision is very easy. This club is massive and that's something that helped the decision a lot.”
The 27-year-old, who scored 30 goals in 54 Barclays Premier League appearances for Newcastle, first came to England in 2002, when he spent a brief spell at Watford, but it was after signing for West Ham United in January 2011 that the striker made an impact. Ba was unable to prevent West Ham from relegation but his seven goals in 12 appearances prompted Newcastle to swoop.
The striker hit the ground running with two hat-tricks in quick succession, against Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City at the beginning of the 2011/12 season, and was awarded the Barclays Premier League Player of the Month award for December, and finished the season as the club's top scorer with 16 goals.
Ba, whose last two goals for the Magpies came in their 7-3 defeat by Arsenal on 29 December, has also established himself as a Senegal regular since scoring on his international debut in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania in 2007. He has scored four times for his country and becomes the first Senegalese to join Chelsea.