Baba Rahman: How Conte frustrated me at Chelsea

Baba Rahman: How Conte frustrated me at Chelsea
Chelsea's Baba Rahman. File date 2016

by Staff Reporter

Saturday Jul 03, 2021. 09:00

Ghana international Baba Rahman has disclosed that a fall-out with then Chelsea manager Antonio Conte forced his exit from the English giants in 2016.

The 26-year-old left-back joined German side Schalke 04 on loan from the Blues, who had appointed Conte as their new manager.

“I left Chelsea because I didn’t get on well with Conte. When he arrived I had a first meeting with him before the season ended,” Baba told Joy Sports .

“He told me how he wanted to play and how I can be in the team if I decide to stay. So I said okay that’s fine. When we went on vacation and came back, he was at the Euros [with Italy] so we started the pre-season and then he came to join us.

“And during the pre-season I didn’t like the way he was reacting toward me. So I went to speak to the sporting director and I told him my worries. “I told him this is what is happening in training and I don’t have confidence anymore and if I stay here I will not be confident enough to show my qualities.”

Rahman enjoyed some game time under Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink in his first season (2015/16) with Chelsea, but that changed after Italian tactician Conte arrived at the club in July 2016.

“The first meeting, he [Conte] told me to just keep calm and keep working hard so I said that’s fine. This was in London and then we went to Austria and it started getting worse and that’s when I said no, I can’t take it anymore,” Rahman continued.

“I don’t know, maybe my name was easy on his tongue, like every small thing was like ‘Baba’ ‘Baba’ and most of the players came to ask me what’s going on and I said I don’t know.

“[John] Mikel Obi told me to just stay and shouldn’t bother what [Conte] is doing, but as young as I was , I was not taking it lightly so when we went to Austria I spoke to the Sporting Director and told him [that] it is going overboard and I can’t take it,” he added.

“So they told me okay, so what do you want to do? I told them I would prefer to leave and they said no the club doesn’t want to sell me. So I said okay, if that’s so then I would prefer to go on loan from here.”

Rahman enjoyed regular game time at Schalke where he had reunited with former coach Markus Weinzierl at German side Augsburg.

“The then coach of Schalke 04 was my former coach in Augsburg so he called me and told me, Baba you know if you are not feeling good at Chelsea, you know I’m here to help you. I’m in Schalke now so if you want to come that’s fine,” the full-back added.

Rahman, who has scored once in 36 international games for Ghana, is currently back at Chelsea after a short-term loan deal with Greek giants PAOK.

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