Chelsea left-back Baba Rahman has agreed a loan move Schalke 04 only one year after his move to the Premier League from Augsburg, the Blues have confirmed.
The 22-year-old left back was then recruited by former manager Jose Mourinho in a deal that was reportedly worth around £14m plus add-ons. The Ghana international had impressed in the previous season at the Bundesliga and was expected to fill the gap left by the departure of Filipe Luis to Atletico Madrid, providing competition for Cesar Azpilicueta in the left-back role.
However, hestruggled to make the impact expected during his first year at Stamford Bridge, making 23 appearances for the Blues during the whole campaign of 53 matches – less than half.
The situation of the former Augsburg left-back improved in the second part of the 2015-2016 season with the arrival of Guus Hiddink. However, it looks that it has not been enough to convince new manager Antonio Conte he deserves a role in the manager's plans for his new adventure with the Premier League giants.
The Blues have thus opted to send him back to the Bundesliga to secure more regular time as the Italian boss continues the reshaping of his squad. Chelsea had around 30 players out on loan last season and it looks that the policy is set to continue with the new boss after number of youngsters have already been loaned somewhere else during the current window, including promising Charly Musonda, Nathan Ake, Nathan, Lewis Baker, Victorien Angban and Jeremie Boga.
Schalke already confirmed that the defender had travelled with the rest of the Bundesliga squad for their pre-season tour in Austria in a clear indication that the deal was about to happen. Now Chelsea have confirmed the agreement for the player to spend the 2015-2016 campaign on loan with the Germans through an official statement.
"Baba Rahman has today joined Schalke on a season-long loan," Chelsea confirmed. "The move is a return to the Bundesliga for the Ghanaian left-back who signed for Chelsea from Augsburg a year ago.
"Last season he made 23 appearances, 19 of them starts, with his debut also his first career game in the Champions League, a 4-0 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv. Schalke finished fifth in the German top flight last season and have former Chelsea striker Franco Di Santo in their squad. Baba will reunite with his former Augsburg manager Markus Weinzierl, who took charge of Schalke earlier this summer."