Former Chelsea forward Demba Ba would have been turning out in Arsenal colors had Jose Mourinho not blocked his move to their cross-town rivals.
Ba is fondly remembered for scoring from a Steven Gerard slip and ending Liverpool’s Premier League title hopes.
While that goal stretched the Reds title wait, Ba was jinxed and seeking a Stamford Bridge exit that summer. Arsene Wenger was to become his savior.
Not on Mourinho’s watch.
The Senegalese striker was close to remaining in London and joining the Gunners after the arrival of Samuel Eto. But the move was stopped as the Special One intervened.
“I was really close [to joining Arsenal]. I was at my house in Paris, having a day off, when I got a phone call from Arsene Wenger – he asked if I’d come back to London for a medical,” Ba told FourFourTwo.
“I woke up at 9 am on transfer deadline day, jumped on a train, got to London, but then it never happened.”
“Arsenal made a couple of signings on the same day [Mesut Ozil and Emiliano Viviano] and Mourinho chose to block the deal, as he didn’t want to help make one of Chelsea’s competitors stronger.”
Despite playing infrequently in the 2013/14 campaign, Ba remembers it fondly for his performance against Paris Saint Germain.
“Being a young kid from the hood in Paris, growing up in poverty and then scoring the goal that took Chelsea to the Champions League semi-finals, that felt like a great achievement.”
Demba Ba won the Premier League under Jose Mourinho. Like the Special One, he has had a nomadic career ever since leaving Chelsea.