This time though Newcastle supporters are slightly more concerned about the prospect of the Senegalese international leaving. He has proven that his flurry of goals at the beginning of the last Premier League campaign was no flash in the pan, and his consistent ability to put the ball in the back of the net you would suspect has not gone unnoticed.
Since the summer window came and went with similar rumours of a supposedly unsettled Ba wanting to jump ship we approach the same issue again. If he finally decides it is time to leave are there any better options out there for him? Would he be wise to move on?
If we are to believe the gossip columns then Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool are queuing up for him. Are any of those options superior than Newcastle? Well that is an obvious yes to two of them. I don’t buy that Liverpool is more of an obvious lure than where he currently is, despite their prestige and history. They are in transition as are the Magpies. The Europa League has been a brutal lesson for those involved that if you don’t have a squad you will be punished, and they have realised this at Anfield as well as at St James’s Park.
The style of play of Arsenal does appear to suit Demba more than that currently displayed on Tyneside. I am sure he would find neat intricate passing a welcome break from the long ball drivel that Alan Pardew’s men have so often offered up this season. It is a logical fit from other perspectives too. The transfer fee for a high calibre proven Premier League scorer is one which wouldn’t break the bank. Wenger is a man who has stuck to what he knows in the transfer market and a reasonable price tag makes the move possible. It is also a transfer that would benefit the Gunners too. There is a sense that the majestic finishing and ruthless goalscoring of Robin Van Persie hasn’t been adequately replaced by Giroud or Podolski. It seems that they are crying out for a striker who is willing to be that little bit selfish, takes those gambles when he gets close to the opposition goal and shoots on sight. Demba certaintly ticks all those boxes.
A switch to Tottenham is also one which would provide an opportunity to push for Champions League football. Spurs only have Defoe and Adebayor as their 2 striking options, so Ba would be welcomed to add competition. The fact that AVB likes playing 1 forward up front, particular away from home again could suit Ba. The supporting cast to provide service at Tottenham is pretty impressive with Bale, Lennon and Dembele to name the most prominent flair players. There is a definite feeling that the Lilywhites need to plump up their squad if they are to retain their top 4 challenge. Daniel Levy is known to scout for good deals too and the transfer fee could appeal to the shrewd chairman at the Lane.
Should he jump at the opportunity to leave the Magpies now I have suggested better options are available? I am not so sure. The grass may appear to be greener at other clubs, but he should assess his own position rather those of the clubs he could go to.
Some fans have suggested that Newcastle have plateaued under Pardew and can’t go any further under him, so insist a move to stay at the top level is neccessary. They fail to understand what Demba Ba has at Newcastle. He is currently the main man, and he would not be guaranteed to be that at the Gunners or Spurs if he left. There is a definite appreciation for what he does by Newcastle fans. I would go as far as the majority of the fans of either potential North London clubs would be underwhelmed by the signing of Ba, hoping for a higher profile signing. If an offer was forthcoming from Brendan Rodgers I am not sure another Newcastle signing would be welcomed with glee in Anfield either.
At Spurs I fear he would clash with Defoe up front as both play a goalscoring game, and the England international has been on stunning form, even Adebayor has found him hard to oust from the team. At Arsenal, Wenger he would by no means walk into the team, especially if Walcott is finally given a chance to play up front. At Newcastle they are looking for a forward too and any striker brought in you would assume would be brought into to tailor his play rather than being brought in to directly challenge him. Ba also enters new contract negotiations in a strong position, where he would probably be paid more by Mike Ashley than by other suitors. Arsenal and Tottenham run strict wage structures and would not break that for a player like Demba Ba, Lionel Messi maybe. This is not disrespect to how good Ba is because his goalscoring ability is abundantly clear, just an observation on the way the chairman at these clubs decide to run things.
Demba Ba may as well see what Pardew has up his sleeve in January. There will be signings to come in and there is still a Europa League campaign he could play a huge part in. The clubs that seem interested in Ba are all in transition. If Ba didn’t fit in he would be quickly put in the bin pile as Carroll was at Liverpool or Chamakh has been at Arsenal. The nature of football is extremely fickle, so he would be wise to think carefully if and when he moves on. His stock can only continue to rise with continued goals where he is at. There appears to be a long term plan at Newcastle with the manager on an 8 year deal looking to build for the future. This season may be one where the club lapses. Next season with a clean bill of health, Newcastle could very well be challenging the likes of Tottenham and Arsenal again and Demba Ba would be at the centre of these plans.
In the summer Ba threw his toys out the pram indirectly through his agent and has got what he wanted. He is the spearhead of the Newcastle attack and they have compensated their style of play to suit him. This has not come at the cost of the fans disliking him either, his goals and lively displays still make him an idol and one of their favourite players. If he leaves in January there is a lot of risk for Ba and very little tangible reward.