Baleba: Rain, shine or snow, I am focused

Cameroonian on life with Albion so far.

By Charlie Hanson • 29 March 2024

By Paul Hazlewood
The midfielder won the man of the match award for his performance in our 1-0 win over Forest at the Amex.

Carlos Baleba admits that European weather has taken a bit of getting used to since moving from Cameroon in 2022, but his full focus is on his football.

The 20-year-old moved to Lille in January 2022, making his Ligue 1 debut in August that year and having a breakthrough year for Paulo Fonseca’s team.

That led to Albion making a move for the midfielder in summer 2023 and while the prospect of Premier League football excited the youngster, the rain certainly didn’t.

By Paul Hazlewood
The midfielder joined us from Lille last summer.

“When I was at Lille, we played a friendly here against Brentford and it rained. And then someone told me that in England it rains all the time, even if the weather forecast says it's going to be hot tomorrow, tomorrow it'll rain!

“Even if it's raining or snowing, my father told me that's not the most important thing, the most important thing is what you do on the pitch, that green rectangle, to adapt to all situations and keep working hard.

“My mother always said I was called up to work, Dad the same, and they instilled that in my little brother too. Rain, shine or snow, it's all the same. On the pitch, you have to be focused.”

By Paul Hazlewood
Carlos Baleba has made 17 Premier League appearances for Albion.

Carlos has made 17 Premier League appearances so far this campaign, playing the full 90 minutes in our 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest in our last league match.

That was just his ninth league start of the season, but he's happy to be patient.

“It's difficult but I'm very patient. I can be patient, no problem. I'm not someone who rushes or wants to rush things.

By Paul Hazlewood
Carlos seemingly always has a smile on his face.

“With time and patience, everything will work out by itself, as I said, you always have to be patient and focused.

“If one day you get chosen to play, that's a chance for you, you have to prove what you're capable of so that it continues. And even if it's not constant, you always have to stay focused and be patient. That’s it.”

He has also had good guidance for the senior players in the team.

“I’ve had advice from some of my team-mates including Pascal Gross, Danny Welbeck and the goalkeeper Steeley (Jason Steele). They gave me good advice so that I can adapt well here in the Premier League and to have a great relationship with them.”