Chelsea new boy Baba Rahman says former midfielder Michael Essien and winger Christian Atsu influenced his decision to move to Stamford Bridge. The 21-year-old is the Premier League champions' fifth summer addition after signing a five-year contract after leaving Augsburg.
Rahman has replaced Filipe Luis, who was allowed to re-join Atletico Madrid, in the Blues squad and provides manager Jose Mourinho with an additional defensive option. The Ghana international could make his debut in the Premier League trip to West Bromwich Albion should Branislav Ivanovic be dropped after his poor performance against Manchester City.
The full-back becomes the latest player to play for Chelsea to hail from Africa, following in the footsteps of the likes of Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou and John Obi Mikel. And for Rahman, a club with a history with talent from his homeland convinced him to move to west London, having discussed the move with Essien and Atsu.
"I spoke with both of them and they were very positive about Chelsea," he told the Chelsea official website. "They told me it was a great club with very nice people, which was good to hear. I watched [Essien] whenever I could. In Ghana they only showed the Premier League at that time so I was always watching him, he was a great player for Chelsea.
"It's a big inspiration for me [the history of African players at Chelsea] and I'm really looking forward to trying to carry on the pattern of African players doing well for the club. I can't wait to get started."
Following a spell as a winger, Rahman has been converted to a full-back but his attacking instincts have not yet been quelled. The defender admits he will continue to attack while at Chelsea and enhance his reputation as one of the best forward-thinking left-backs around.
"I can play as a winger but I haven't played in midfield for a while," he added. "I played on the left wing in Germany for Greuther Furth not so long ago and scored two goals in the game, but the next day I left for Augsburg."