DEMBA BA: FIRST WORDS
Striker Demba Ba completed his transfer from Newcastle on Friday morning, and is available for Saturday's trip to Southampton in the FA Cup.
He spoke to the official Chelsea website for the first time before meeting his team-mates and training at Cobham, and told us he is raring to go. The Senegalese is also available for our Capital One Cup semi-final first leg against Swansea City on Wednesday.
Demba, welcome to Chelsea. What are your first impressions?
It feels good to be here, I'm very happy and very proud. This training ground is massive, it has good facilities and will only help my work.
It was important for me, and for Newcastle, to get my future sorted and now we can move on. Now they have the whole month to buy someone and for me as well, the sooner the better. Now I am here I just need to get settled in.
Interest in you was well-reported. Was it a difficult decision joining Chelsea?
When the club who won the Champions League wants you, the decision making is very easy. This club is massive and that's something that helped the decision a lot. It was not a hard one.
I remember the last game we played. It was tough. They dominated the whole game against us and we lost 2-0 at Stamford Bridge. When you see a team coming to Newcastle and winning 3-0 like they did last season, you know it will be hard to face teams like that. Now I am on the other side I will be happy to do the same to the other teams.
I am also happy to be back in London. It means everything to be here. I think I will not live far from the training ground. I am a city boy, but I have two kids and a wife, and it is different.
Do you know anyone at the club already?
I know Eden Hazard a little bit. I met him through a friend and [goalkeeping coach] Christophe Lollichon as well. I met him some times in France, so there are a couple of faces I know a little bit.
Your career has been an incredible journey, but you seem settled in the Premier League?
In two years now in the Premier League I have learned a lot and I keep learning. I just want to keep playing football and trying to score goals. I try to be strong mentally. This is a big part of the success of someone. If you are strong mentally then you have good chances to succeed.
Yesterday I was looking back and smiling to myself, saying "Yes, I've done it." I feel very proud, not only for me but the people who supported me over the years - my agent for instance who has been there since I was 15, my mum as well because when I skipped school she was afraid but today I am very proud for my family.
I never lost belief in my football though, never. You keep working and things come. Rewards always come.
You also settled in quickly at both your previous clubs in England…
Hopefully I can do the same here, it would be good. This club is at another level, it isn't West Ham or Newcastle. They are both big clubs with a strong history, but Chelsea is Chelsea and you cannot compare. It will be easier with world-class players around, who make the football look so easy.
I hope they can create a lot of chances for me when I play. I have watched some replays of some games to see how the team is playing and hopefully it will be good.
Is it fair to say you play better as a lone striker than in a pair?
I don't know if it's fair to say. It doesn't matter if you have one, two or three forwards. You always have someone supporting you and more than one player thinking of scoring goals.
When you play with two both will try to score goals, and the percentage chance can increase automatically. With another striker I can do a bit more around the pitch and not just be focused in the penalty area. With only one striker it can be good also because you have wingers helping you. It really doesn't matter for me.
Are you fit and available to play for this weekend's FA Cup game against Southampton?
I am fit. I played Southampton recently and we had a bad experience. We had a bad game from the first to the last minute, so hopefully if I am part of the squad it will be another story.