Take a cue from Lukaku and leave Chelsea, ex-Anderlecht star advises Baba

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Exclusive: The struggling left-back has been encouraged to seek a transfer elsewhere to revive his career

Former Ghana international Samuel Johnson has urged Baba Rahman to pursue a move away from English giants Chelsea in order to save his career.

Owing to limited playing opportunities with the Blues, the recuperating left-back has become a subject of transfer speculations, with the likes of German side Schalke 04 – with whom he was on loan before picking up a season-ending injury in February last year – English clubs Everton and Newcastle United as well as the Turkish duo of Galatasaray and Fenerbahce keen to offer him a path out of Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, meanwhile, has stated his readiness to give the 23-year-old a chance to fight for his place at the club when he regains full fitness.

“Baba is young, but he needs to play,” Johnson told Goal.

“Let’s think about ourselves. He is our national player, so if he’s there [Chelsea] and not playing, when he comes [to the national team], it’s going to affect us.

 “If he’s there and he’s not playing, then that’s not a wise decision because the guys over there [at Chelsea] are strong.”

Baba picked up a thigh injury while on international duty with Ghana at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Gabon.

Originally scheduled to return to action after seven months, a series of complications continue to keep him in and out of training.

“If it’s only one [other competitor at his position], then you know that if he [Baba] stays, [things may be easier].

“But if there are two or three other competitors, then you know that the fight is not going to be easy. Chelsea fought over [Romelu] Lukaku, the same person the club sent away some time. That is how the thing is. So he [Baba] should go, get playing time and let’s see what happens.

“We should just pray and support him in whatever decision he’s taking, so far as football is concerned, because he’s in our team, and that is what we have. He needs to play, be perfect and come and help the nation.”

Baba joined Chelsea in August 2015 but limited opportunities at Stamford Bridge warranted a move to Schalke after playing 15 league games in his first season with the Blues.

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“I was playing in Gaziantepspor, I went for the Africa Cup of Nations and Anderlecht saw me, and they came for me,” Johnson, who also played for Fenerbahce, narrated.

“So if he [Baba] keeps playing at club level, comes to the national team and plays well, if he goes for a tournament [with the national team] and he plays well there, definitely another club will pick him.”