Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Ba relishes competition with Torres

Demba Ba does not consider Fernando Torres a rival

Chelsea striker Demba Ba would relish more competition with Fernando Torres next season - but is also keen to partner the Spaniard.

Outgoing manager Rafael Benitez tended to rotate his principal forwards after Ba arrived from Newcastle in January but with Benitez moving on and Ba's ineligibility for European football no longer an issue, that could change under the next manager.

When asked if the pair could play together, Ba said: "We could do. He is a good man. We will have to see the view of the manager who is going to come in. We will have to see what he will bring to the team and if he can play two strikers, how he wants it."

He added: "But we are not rivals, no chance. You learn a lot from having competition with players like this - it's good for me.

"I'm getting better and better."

Ba has made a good impression in his first four months at Stamford Bridge, scoring six goals and often looking the team's most dangerous attacking threat.

The Senegal international does feel he owes something to Benitez, who leaves his post as interim boss after this weekend's friendly against Manchester City in New York.

Ba, speaking at a Chelsea youth soccer clinic in Harlem, said: "It's been good since I came and he (Benitez) has been good.

"He made good rotation between me and Fernando.

"I have had the chance to play a lot of games since I came and that has been really good. I have learned a lot, about new team-mates and the way Chelsea plays football. I'm very happy."

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