Demba Ba rejoins Beşiktaş for title challenge
ISTANBULSenegal’s ex-Newcastle and Chelsea striker Demba Ba on Jan. 31 rejoined his former Turkish club Beşiktaş until the end of the season from Shanghai Shenhua of China.
Beşiktaş said in a statement that the deal agreed with the player and Chinese club was a “temporary transfer” and adding no payment was involved.
“Welcome back Demba Ba!” the Istanbul club wrote on its Twitter account. His contract runs until May 31.
Ba was a standout performer for Beşiktaş in the 2014/2015 season, and a favorite with the club’s famously impassioned fans.
He signed for Shanghai Shenhua in June 2015 to the disappointment of many Beşiktaş fans but was replaced by German international Mario Gomez, who was the league top scorer in Beşiktaş’ title-winning 2015/2016 season.
With Gomez now departed, league leader Beşiktaş is in need of a reliable hitman in front of goal to retain the title.
Ba has not played since suffering a broken leg while playing in China in July 2016 but has been able to recover after successful surgery.
Before first joining Beşiktaş in 2014, Ba enjoyed fruitful stints with West Ham, Newcastle and Chelsea in the English premiership.
He is remembered for his goal for Chelsea against Liverpool at the season end in 2014, helped by a notorious slip by Steven Gerrard that effectively cost Liverpool the title.
There was talk that Ba could reunite with his former Beşiktaş boss Slaven Bilic at West Ham in the Premier League but in the end he opted for the Turkish club.