New Chelsea squad number allocated as January arrival takes legends’ old jersey

Down the years, some superstars have worn Chelsea’s no.6 jersey.

Baba Rahman and Oriol Romeu have been the last two incumbents, but two world-class centre-backs – Ricardo Carvalho and Marcel Desailly – wore it before that.

Chelsea’s no.6 had been vacant since Baba left the club on loan to join Schalke, but it now belongs to Nathan Ake, who arrived back at Stamford Bridge earlier this month when he was recalled from Bournemouth.

Giving Ake such a prestigious squad number may suggest that Blues manager Antonio Conte is prepared to make him a key figure at the club.

Conversely, Conte’s decision to give Baba’s number to another player seems to hint that the Ghana international may have played his final game for Chelsea.

Baba will remain at Schalke until the end of the season, but could he be set for a permanent transfer next summer? That looks very likely.

Left-back Rahman has played in six Champions League games and 13 Bundesliga matches so far during his Schalke career.

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