‘I want to learn from him’ – Lugano’s Sasere rejects Ba rivalry talk

The Nigerian striker played down the rivalry claim many feel the ex-Chelsea star would bring, insisting that he wants to emulate his goalscoring feat

Franklin Sasere has opened up on the kind of relationship he wants to build with Demba Ba, revealing he wants to learn from him instead of seeing him as a rival.

The former Chelsea, West Ham United and Newcastle United star joined the Swiss Super League outfit on a one-year contract on Friday evening.

Ba had been a free agent since he was released by Turkish Super Lig outfit Istanbul Basaksehir owing to lack of playing time.

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The 36-year-old’s move to the Cornaredo Stadium would help manager Abel Braga strengthen his squad’s attacking option that has the talented Nigerian striker and Uruguay’s Joaquin Ardaiz.

To some, the arrival of the Senegal international would generate bad blood, however, the former Hamrun Spartans star made it clear there’s no truth in those assumptions.

“I do not have any problems with Ba coming to Lugano,” Sasere told Goal.

“Seeing him in this team is a great development. This is a striker I watched on TV while growing up. So, I believe his presence would make me a better striker.

“He has achieved a lot for his club and for country and hopefully, he will bring his wealth of experience to the Cornaredo Stadium.

“Honestly, I am excited to see him here and I can’t wait to get my boots on and get started.

“We will train together from time to time, and I want to learn from him.”

Ba was part of the Blues’ team that won the 2012-13 Uefa Europa League, while his time in the English elite division produced 43 goals and three assists in 99 appearances.

In the 2020-21 campaign, Lugano finished in the fourth position after accruing 49 points from 36 games.

Ahead of the new season, 22-year-old Sasere believes much is expected from the club in their quest to play earn a berth in Europe.

“We tried last season, but we feel sad, not able to qualify for either the Champions League of Europa League,” the former Sunshine Stars’ man continued.

“This time around, we will surely step up our performances as we can’t afford to miss out on a place in Europe again.

“With the depth of quality in Lugano at the moment, we are good to go as we want to make our fans proud of us.

“On a personal note, I will do all it takes to ensure that I score in every game that I feature in.”  

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