LONDON (Reuters) – Demba Ba could play for his new club Chelsea in Saturday’s FA Cup third-round tie at Southampton after completing his transfer to Chelsea for an undisclosed fee on a 3-1/2-year contract.
Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez said on Friday the former Newcastle striker, who is the joint third highest Premier League goal scorer this season, was eligible for the match and could play.
"He trained today and he’s fine, so he has a chance to play tomorrow," Benitez told the club’s website (www.chelseaafc.com).
"I think he’s a player who can score goals, he can hold the ball, can pass, has good movement, is good in the air. So as a striker, everything you are looking for he can do a lot of these things well."
Ba said the decision to move to Chelsea had not been difficult.
"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. It was not a hard one," the 27-year-old Senegalese forward said. "It feels good to be here, I’m very happy and very proud."
Chelsea are currently fourth in the Premier League after losing at home to bottom club Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday.
Benitez said captain John Terry was involved in part of the training sessions following his knee injury but could not give a date for his return.
He said goalkeeper Petr Cech was taking part in light training and should be back in two to three weeks.
(Reporting by Stephen Eisenhammer; Editing by John Mehaffey)
- Malaysia to play Nepal on Saturday
- Manchester United to play Chelsea in League Cup
- Chelsea’s Ivanovic can play opening game despite red card
- Ferguson says title charge on track if they top table on Saturday
- Borussia Dortmund can seal title on Saturday