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Demba Ba rejoins Besiktas for title challenge

01 February 2017, 09:12

Istanbul - Senegal's ex-Newcastle and Chelsea striker Demba Ba on Tuesday rejoined his former Turkish club Besiktas until the end of the season from Shanghai Shenhua of China.

Besiktas said in a statement that the deal agreed with the player and Chinese club was a "temporary transfer" and adding no payment was involved.

"Welcome back Demba Ba!" the Istanbul club wrote on its Twitter account. His contract runs until May 31.

Ba was a standout performer for Besiktas in the 2014/2015 season, and a favourite with the club's famously impassioned fans.

He signed for Shanghai Shenhua in June 2015 to the disappointment of many Besiktas fans but was replaced by German international Mario Gomez, who was the league top scorer in Besiktas' title-winning 2015/2016 season.

With Gomez now departed, league leaders Besiktas are in need of a reliable hitman in front of goal to retain the title.

Also read: Demba Ba surgeon confident striker will play again

Ba has not played since suffering a broken leg while playing in China in July 2016 but has been able to recover after successful surgery.

Before first joining Besiktas in 2014, Ba enjoyed fruitful stints with West Ham, Newcastle and Chelsea in the English premiership.

He is remembered for his goal for Chelsea against Liverpool at the season end in 2014, helped by a notorious slip by Steven Gerrard that effectively cost Liverpool the title.

There was talk that Ba could reunite with his former Besiktas boss Slaven Bilic at West Ham in the Premier League but in the end he opted for the Turkish club.

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- AFP

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