Chelsea striker dubbed German club's 'Worst ever business'

Chelsea striker Demba Ba cost just 800,000 Euros to pry away from the Bundesliga in 2011, heading to West Ham.

Hoffenheim are the club struggling to avoid having to participate in a relegation play-off at the end of the season, to keep their place in the Bundesliga.

How things may have worked out differently for them, had they managed to secure a proper price for the services of Demba Ba back in 2011.

After his appearance and goal in the FA Cup semi-final at the weekend, German newspaper Bild have shone the spotlight on the deal, describing as the club's 'Worst piece of business', going onto describe the low value of the money received for his services as 'rotten'.

Ba scored 40 goals for Hoffenheim in three and a half seasons, helping them gain promotion to the Bundesliga in his first, and also helping them stay afloat.

In 2011, his agent began hawking him around to Premier League clubs at the request of Hoffenheim who were hoping to pull a fast one.

They believed his 'dodgy knee' was going to cause him serious problems and wanted to cash in, even for a small amount, and save themselves his wages and medical bills.

A deal was almost done with Stoke City, only for it to fall through on medical grounds, but West Ham were convinced to take a gamble - for just 800,000 Euros, and he instantly impressed, scoring seven goals.

He couldn't help them avoid relegation, which worked out well for him because a clause in his contract allowed him to walk away on a free transfer, and there were plenty of potential takers.

Newcastle were the club to snap him up, and a sensational start saw him hailed as the buy of the season, attracting the attention of Champions League clubs.

Another contract clause allowed him to be bought for £7 million, and this January it was Chelsea who paid the price, a potential bargain.

He has had his moments, scoring the FA Cup winner over Manchester United in the quarter-final, netting six times so far, and there are likely to be plenty more to come, he is coming into form as he prepares to pay a key role between now and the end of the season.

Hoffenheim chairman Jochen Rotthaus told Bild: "Back then it was not foreseeable that Ba would be in his third Premier Leagueseason. He stood directly in front of injury, had major problems in the medical examinations. He also wanted away and not play with the team together. Since we decided to sell."

It may have seemed a shrewd move, but they certainly are not laughing now, and clearly regret dealing the striker for such a paltry price.

image: © Jason Bagley

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