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Benitez aware of Ba’s knee situation before completing transfer

15:51 04 January 2013

Newcastle United

Newcastle United's Demba Ba. Photo: Steve Drew/EMPICS Sport

EMPICS Sport

Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez insists the Blues knew the situation with Demba Ba’s knee before signing him.

The Senegalese striker, who arrived on Friday from Newcastle, has failed two medicals at Stuttgart and Stoke due to a chronic degenerative knee condition but still went on to score 29 league goals in his Magpies’ career.

Benitez can select the 27-year-old for Chelsea’s FA Cup tie on Saturday against Southampton and for the Capital One Cup semi-final versus Swansea next week.

“I think he is a good player and he has proved in the Premier League that he can score goals,” said Benitez.

“We are looking for a player that we can play right now because we have a game every three days and we could not wait any longer.”

“We knew what the situation was (with Ba’s knee) and he has played many games in the Premier League and now, importantly, he can play for us.”

Chelsea’s only other main striking option is Fernando Torres, who has played 20 games – one more than Ba, and Rafa believes that his new charge offers his team variety of options.

“We have to be sure that we have enough options in attack,” added the former Liverpool manager. “We now have a player that can play either with Torres, just behind Torres or on his own up front.”

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