Didier Drogba will reportedly be ‘available’ for a period of two months while the Chinese league is in it’s off-season. He’ll also be taking part in January’s African Cup of Nations, so is it really in the best interest of his current club to continue playing? And then there’s that issue of him being a former Chelsea player, although at this stage the word ‘legend’ seems more appropriate following his penalty in the Champions League final; why then would he go to a rival such as Liverpool?
But even putting all of that aside, are we supposed to believe that Brendan Rodgers has narrowed down a shortlist of strikers which now includes a 34-year-old Drogba? His contributions in the Premier League can never be questioned, and even at his age he could have done more in European football. But Drogba scored five league goals last season and he was the catalyst for Chelsea playing a certain style of football, one which Rodgers really doesn’t want to follow.
In fact, Rodgers is so determined to avoid any hints of the ball played over the top that he told Andy Carroll he wasn’t needed at the club, even though he sort of is. Drogba in his prime was one of the very best in Europe, but should we take it on face value that he is now a better option or even the only option following the release of Carroll for the season?
What does that do to Liverpool’s game? Drogba would give them another option when their plan A doesn’t work, and he certainly has enough of a reputation to scare Premier League defenders. But what happens to Nuri Sahin and Joe Allen? Creative and possession midfield players. Luis Suarez should be able to adapt given his qualities, but he’s also too much of a creative forward to see the ball sail over his head for the majority of a game.
Furthermore, how does this all fit in with the Liverpool owners’ view of players who are getting on a bit? Drogba would only be at the club for two months should the proposed deal come off, but he still brings with him huge wages and absolutely no guarantees of success. If the club are seriously considering this move, and I really doubt they are, then why not just stump up the cash for Clint Dempsey when he was available? Better yet, why not just hang on to Carroll in the hope that a new manager in Rodgers can bring the best out of him?
Liverpool need a player who is going to put the ball in the net from the many chances they create in a game. What Drogba does is potentially alter their game plan and raise the issue of playing to a style that Rodgers doesn’t want. And even if the club are going for a cheap (supposedly) stop-gap, why not look a little further a field than Drogba and the names from the Premier League?
Antonio Di Natale may be 35, but the Italian is still playing at the highest level in Serie A and was part of Italy’s Euro 2012 squad. He’s one of the most lethal finishers in Italy and gave Liverpool further evidence of his abilities during their recent Europa League clash. Unfortunately, Di Natale is also a name who clashes with the club’s view of players of a certain age. But considering Liverpool’s finances, specifically those of the owner, can they really be overly picky?
At this stage, Drogba doesn’t make any sense. His history with other clubs in the league and his style of play means the idea of Drogba to Liverpool should be discarded as quickly and with as little care as it was when someone thought it up.