As far as modern day greats go, players will have to go some way to eclipse Didier Drogba.
The Ivory Coast international was a key figure in Chelsea’s rise to the top of the English game during Jose Mourinho’s first spell at Stamford Bridge, played a major role in his international side’s surge to become, arguably, the best of the African nations and has helped to increase the profiles of the Chinese and American games by signing for both Shanghai Shenhua and Montreal Impact – who he plays for now.
All of this makes it slight baffling as to why the Blues so willingly let him slip out of the door over the summer. Okay, Drogba is now 37 and the pace and power he once had is not quite there anymore, but he’s still a better option than many clubs in the Premier League can call upon.
Here are FIVE reasons the defending champions should have kept him…
Drogba popped up with a few vital goals last season in the blue of Chelsea and has since shown that he still knows how to put the ball away over in Major League Soccer action with Montreal Impact. The Ivorian has four in four for the Canadians, including a perfect hat-trick on his first start for the club.
Even though he’s now 37, it’s understood that Drogba penned an 18-month deal with the Impact, which will keep him playing until the end of the 2016 season.
There’s no substitute for experience in football. A player who’s been there and done it before is a useful tool for any manager, and Jose Mourinho has shown the past that he truly appreciates know-how in his first-team stars.
A quick look at Drogba’s honours shows that he’s achieved more in his career than some of the traditional all-time greats, including four Premier League titles, the Champions League, League and FA Cups and the Turkish league title during his time with Galatasaray.
Fan power is a big thing in football. Supporters have the potential to keep managers in jobs, influence signings and even force players out of the door by the sheer power of the voices within stadiums and online. And it’s fair to say that many Blues would have been well and truly on board with the idea of keeping a club legend at Stamford Bridge for at least one more campaign, especially after witnessing the horrific sight of Frank Lampard in a Manchester City shirt for 2014/15.
Diego Costa’s suspension has exposed the lack of depth up front once again at Chelsea. With the Spain international unavailable, Mourinho is now reliant on Radamel Falcao and Loic Remy to lead his line, and with the former having endured a disastrous loan spell and Manchester United and the later having failed to convince in his debut campaign as a Blue, the Special One is sure to be concerned.
Also, should injury hit Costa, Falcao or Remy – who have all had major fitness problems in the past – Chelsea’s ability to cope domestically and in Europe may be tested.
At his current age, coaching is sure to be on Drogba’s mind. With his vast level of experience and sheer aura, the African ace is likely to be the sort of character young and experienced players would look up to, and should Chelsea have kept him on board they would have been able to have pretty much guaranteed that his know-how was passed on to future Blues.