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In pictures: Abdoulaye Ba - from Premer League potential to Segunda stopgap (20th September, 2017)

Today's article is not filled with words. Rather, it is a mini-project I've been working on for a week but have decided to end.

I was trying to assemble photos of Abdoulaye Ba in the news - all of them. Yes, every transfer rumor and done deal that I could find. Why, you ask? I was trying to see what attention a "promising" youngster actually gets.

I attempted to do all, but settled on news mentions to Premier League clubs, a league he has never played in. And even if I missed out a mention here or there, what I found was a fabricated ecosystem that we all consume.

I hope you enjoy watching it from the outside.

The first time Abdoulaye Ba became a "thing" was July 3, 2012, when talkSPORT linked him to West Ham, Stoke City and QPR.


Then ESPN linked him to Aston Villa:


And then the Daily Mail reported that the deal looked dead:


But Mail Online wouldn't give up, saying that Aston Villa wouldn't give up.



But then nothing.

For a year, when the Daily Star was back at it.

And then the Daily Mail was back:


And then two days later Get French Football News linked him to French clubs Nice and Rennes.

The Daily Star tagged along too:


And, of course, nothing happened.

So what actually happened?

Well, three years ago, a center-back taller and surprisingly quicker than most promising players continued a career path taken by most promising players.

Abdoulaye Ba, a Porto player who had had loan spells at S.C. Covilhã in the second division, as well as Académica de Coimbra and Vitória de Guimarães in the first, was on the market. And the center-back chose his fourth loan would be at a team in a country he had never played in, a team that was being coached by a former center-back...

The first game of the season was against La Liga winners and Champions League finalists Atlético Madrid. It was also Abdoulaye Ba's first test, a test that he succeeded. Mario Mandžukić and Raúl Jiménez were largely quiet thanks to the Senegalese defender, who registered four clearances, blocked a shot and even attempted 77 passes.

And yet, the very next game, in a 2-2 draw at Depor, Ba's terrible back pass to Cristian Álvarez was Depor's first goal, and his handball in the penalty area was Depor's second.

It may have been the best metaphor for his career.

Loan spells at Fenerbahçe SK, Alanyaspor and TSV 1860 Munich followed, followed by a "we-really-need--to-get-someone" four-year permanent deal at Rayo this summer - on August 30th.

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