Chelsea undoubtedly did some great work in the transfer market over the summer and have a great squad assembled to push for the title. But one piece of business involving Romelu Lukaku and Didier Drogba has been questioned by some.
It makes for a captivating and enchanting football fairy tail when a legend returns to his former club. However such moves are met with great levels of expectation and high hopes and often conclude with a bit of an anti-climactic fizzle.
We love to see this type of transfer in football, Thierry Henry went back to Arsenal, Cristiano Ronaldo might go back to Manchester United-but it never really works out as well the second time around and it seems that Chelsea’s attempt to re-kindle the flame with Drogba will be a fruitless.
Players like Drogba and Henry were legends during their original spells at their clubs because they were at the peak of their game. They were at their best and produced some great performances with plenty of goals, they had their club’s badge imprinted in their hearts and played for it with passion.
Coming back a second time around years later is never going to produce the same sort of form and performances from the players, as they are usually towards the latter stages of their career and have already peaked, hence they are not able to play in the same way or achieve the same records as they did the first time around. As enchanting and exciting these type of transfers can be for everyone involved, it simply does not always work out. It didn’t happen for Henry at Arsenal, but that didn’t perhaps matter as much as it does with Drogba.
The Ivory coast international has come back to Chelsea in place of the departed Lukaku who went back to Everton in a permanent move over the summer after impressing during his initial loan spell. Younger players like him rarely get blooded into a top team’s starting eleven until they have been out on loan getting regular football under their belts and proving that they are good enough for the job. Lukaku did exactly that at both his loan spells with West Brom and Everton respectively, scoring 17 goals in a season for the Baggies and 15 for Everton.
Chelsea needed a goal scorer and were lucky to stumble across Diego Costa who has turned out to be the buy of the window so far. However he is the only striker they currently have who is capable of banging in the big goal tally required to help a team achieve the sort of form required to win the Premiership title. They have plenty of goals from other areas of the pitch in the shape of some extremely talented mifielders but you need more than one striker to be contributing towards the goal tally for the season when you are a team like Chelsea.
What if Costa gets injured? By all means they have returning former hero Drogba to rely on as a back up option. Maybe Lukaku didn’t want to be the back up option you say? Well he needn’t have been. He would have made a great striking partner for Diego Costa at Chelsea, who himself looks set to get 25+ goals for his team, and Lukaku would have easily added to that with another 15-20 goals as his partner.
However they let him go to Everton, and as great as it is for the scousers to have such a prolific player on their books, which also highlights their own intentions to progress as a club, it leaves Chelsea with a massive loss – albeit not such an apparent one at present while Costa is on form, but one that will become very apparent should the Spaniard get injured or just go through a dry spell and stop scoring goals.
Drogba, as good as he used to be, simply cannot perform to the same level that he used to for Chelsea. The younger talented players need to be given the chance to shine and as much as I can see that Lukaku will do great things for Everton, he is the sort of player that should be involved in trying to win the Premiership, challenging for top honours both domestically and in Europe rather than (with respect) battling for a top six space every season.
Sometimes you can see that a particular youngster will not quite cut the mustard at a big club and it is best for them to leave to find regular first team football. Lukaku however would fit in really well in this Chelsea team and would have been a great asset to have. He may have proved to be a better asset than Drogba, however sweet the idea is of a returning hero.
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