Demba Ba replaces Obafemi Martins in surprise Shanghai return
It is a tale of two former Newcastle strikers over in China at Shanghai Shenhua.
Struggling to recover after a serious leg break, Demba Ba was released by the Chinese club in January.
He signed up with Turkish side Goztepe until the end of the 2017/18 season and got back on form, starting 10 league matches and scoring seven goals.
Now though, it has been announced that the former Chelsea and Newcastle forward is returning once again to Shanghai Shenhua.
Turning 33 a week ago, Demba Ba is set to travel back to China for his medical after proving his fitness and form, with a reported three year contract said to be worth £7m per season.
At the start of April we brought you news that Obafemi Martins had suffered a really bad knee injury, with doubts as to whether he will come back and play again as he will have turned 34 before he has any chance of playing again.
Obafemi Martins is now without a club after Shanghai Shenhua released him, following that knee injury, with Demba Ba the replacement.
The Mag – 4 April 2018:
Obafemi Martins put in an ‘interesting’ three seasons at Newcastle United and has certainly travelled the globe since.
Arriving at Newcastle for £10m from Inter in Summer 2006 when Glenn Roeder was manager, the striker was at times entertaining and exciting, though just as likely to be erratic and frustrating.
After relegation in 2008/09 he jumped ship to the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg having scored 28 goals in 76 Premier League starts (plus 12 off the bench) for NUFC.
As well as winning the League Cup with Birmingham, Obafemi Martins has appeared in La Liga with Levante, before a successful time in the MLS with Seattle Sounders.
His latest club is Shanghai Shenhua, having arrived in February 2016.
Scoring 19 league goals in 27 starts, Martins scored a hat-trick on Saturday in their 4-2 league win over Hebei China Fortune.
However, on Tuesday he was carried off the pitch during a 2-2 draw with Kashima Antlers in the Asian Champions League.
Now his Chinese Super League (CSL) club Shanghai Shenhua have announced today [Wednesday] that Obafemi Martins has been ruled out of action for at least six or seven months with a torn hamstring,
The injury ends any remote hopes Martins may have had of making Nigeria’s squad for this summer’s World Cup in Russia.
However it could also potentially spell the end of the striker’s career altogether.
Obafemi Martins will have turned 34 before he stands any chance of coming back from the injury and for a striker so reliant on pace, you would have to doubt whether he will play again.
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