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What is the Future of Didier Drogba?

Love him or hate him, Didier Drogba has been one of the greatest players to ever play for the Blues (and one of the best ever in the Premier League). The polarizing star has had a career full of epic highs and deep lows. However with the hiring of new coach Andre Villas-Boas, a new era begins at Stamford Bridge that may signal the end of the 33 year old’s time in London.

Last season was a mixed bag for the Ivorian. He scored 11 goals in the League and two in the Champions League bringing his total to 13, which is remarkable considering his age.  Drogba’s physical fitness can’t be questioned as he continued to be as threatening as ever in front of the net.

However, during the second half of the season, Drogba’s playing time became interrupted with the arrival of Fernando Torres. The Spaniard was often chosen by Carlo Ancelotti to start while Drogba warmed the bench before coming on as a substitute. Even with the Spaniard struggling to find the back of the net, Chelsea continued to start him over Drogba which could only have frustrated the volatile striker.

Didier Drogba, a fan favorite of Stamford Bridge, now enters the final year of his contract. In his time with Chelsea, Drogba has become the sixth highest scorer of all time for the London club. While he has had his fair share of injuries, Drogba was the second highest scorer on the team last year and looks like he still has a lot to offer.

Yet with the arrival of Villas-Boas, it is widely known that above all else, finally winning the Champions League is all that owner Roman Abramovich seems to really care about. As a result, changes need to be made with a squad that is full of starters entering the twilight of their careers. One of the biggest needs Chelsea may have is looking for a new forward as a long term replacement for Didier Drogba. Numerous elite strikers have been linked with Chelsea like Porto’s Radamel Falcao who may want to follow his old coach Boas. Atletico Madrid’s Sergio Aguero has increasingly looked ready to make an expected move to a top European club like Chelsea.

Chelsea has also been involved with the sweepstakes for Santos’ Neymar. The hyped Brazilian sensation who has been built as the protégé of Pele has Chelsea and several other clubs willing to pay his exorbitant transfer fee of over 40 million euros. Romelu Lukaku, the 18 year old striker from Belgian club Anderlecht, has been widely expected to make his way to Chelsea as well after being often compared to none other than Didier Drogba. With Chelsea expected to make one or more deals this summer, Drogba looks like he’s going to face more competition in the starting eleven. Judging by the Fernando Torres inclusion, Chelsea may lean towards playing their new additions more often over the experienced Drogba.

Over the summer, two teams have emerged as frontrunners to sign Didier Drogba. The Turkish club Galatasaray S.K., have been linked with Drogba since the end of the season as they would like to have him partner up with their new signing Johan Elmander. More recently, Drogba’s former team, Marseille, has shown increasing interest in welcoming back their star striker who had a successful year for them in 2003-2004. Drogba himself has stated that he would only leave Chelsea to return to the Stade Velodrome since he shares a mutual admiration for the club and its fans.

Vincent Labrune, the president of Olympique de Marseille, admitted on Tuesday that they could sign Drogba as long as changes are made on their roster. He explained, “The question would be whether in terms of salary – not a transfer fee – Marseille have the means to pay Didier Drogba for four years and the answer is ‘yes’,”. “Though only if we had some departures [from the squad].”

However, despite outside interest, Chelsea are reportedly ready to fight off Drogba’s suitors. Negotiations have already been held with the forward’s representatives and formal discussions over a one year extension are to begin when he returns to pre-training for Chelsea next week. Ultimately, it will be up to Didier Drogba to decide where he wants to close out his career.

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  1. chris

    August 30, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    drogba is a fine player,i hpe he gets wel soon,even though am no chelsea fan,wit him in their squad its great footbal experience

  2. Obo Wilson

    July 13, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Drogba’s the best striker chelsea has produced in recent times. He knows d in nd out of stamford bridge. Chelsea shuld nt get rid of him just bcos d’re tired of him. A messy or ronaldo may nt be up 2 Drogba at chelsea. Check it out from the arrival of stars like Crespo, Shevi, pizaro nd lately Torres. Drogba’s got d strent goin. He shuld b givn his due respect considerin his sacrifices 4 chelsea. Much respect 2 ma futbol livin legend, DE DRUG BANGER!

  3. Giwa

    July 3, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    I tink Drogba still alot 2over chelsea so i surgest he shd stay wit d blues.

  4. Jason

    July 3, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    The problem is not Drogba and Torres playing together as much as Drogba doesn’t get along with Torres. Maybe Villas-Boas can sort it out between them but given Drogba’s track record I think it more likely that Drogba will leave especially if Chelsea bring in another top striker. Can drogba go an entire season without sulking? I don’t think so.

    • MUFCforlife

      July 3, 2011 at 11:19 pm

      Couldn’t agree with you more. Drogba is not exactly the most open-minded person when it comes to sharing the ball up front. Another striker would without doubt be the end of him in my mind.

  5. genjuro

    July 3, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Dont kid yourself people……Drog will stay at least for another year in Chelsea. He has so much more to offer and lets be honest Carlo never did anything to get Torres and Drog going. I promise AVB will make these two click again and the opposition defenders will fell it first hand. CA was not the man to get the best out of this team…….AVB will, im sure of it. Anyway Drog will stay.

  6. Dave

    July 3, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Don’t be surprised if Drogba wants to go to Real Madrid. The question is will Chelsea sell him to Madrid and make Madrid even stronger in the Champions League.

    • MUFCforlife

      July 3, 2011 at 12:31 pm

      With all the strikers they have there, why in the world would he go there? That would be a waste of his years left.

  7. Kris

    July 2, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    The problem between Drogba and Torres is more than just that Torres was bought and it limited Drogba’s appearances. It’s also that Drogba is making less money than Torres even though Torres has not done anything yet for Chelsea. These things can be disruptive to any club. That’s why I think Drogba will leave.

    • Shoji

      July 2, 2011 at 11:31 pm

      i still believe Didier wants to prove hes still Chelsea’s best striker even if Torres has joined the blues. I honestly hope he stays.

      I read an article about how frank lampard and didier drogba should leave chelsea to end player power in chelsea, I personally thought the article was just rubbish. They are awesome players, they maybe we should not start them every single game we most definitely need them to stay.

  8. Nate

    July 2, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Everyone seems to forget Drogba had MALARIA last year. With ‘the difficult moment’, he was never given a proper chance to rest and recover.

    Mini-Mou will make the ultimate decision, but here’s what he’s looking at. A healthy Drogba is the best striker in the world. There are plenty of players with pace and creativity, but his brute strength and ability to shrug off EPL defenders can be compared to no one. Torres is there to stay for better or worse. If Villas-Boas can get the two to play together at peak form, they will be the best striking duo on the planet. The two of them up top give us the best chance to win the CL.

    • MUFCforlife

      July 2, 2011 at 1:52 pm

      I was going to mention that but I thought that could be included into the injury clause (a strange one at that). Drogba of five years ago was one of the best strikers in the world but age has caught up to him. Chelsea have failed to get drogba and torres to link up well together and I’m not sure any manger could change that.

      • Nate

        July 2, 2011 at 2:26 pm

        I would argue that Drogba of last year was the best striker in the World. 29 goals in the EPL, and was the key contributor to Chelsea’s EPL record of 103 goals. He went straight on to The World Cup, came back to England with Malaria. If you ask him, he’ll say he has a lot left in the tank. He was discovered late so doesn’t have the mileage that a player of his age typically has. With this summer to recover he’ll come back as a beast.

        Your other point has some merit. Can any manager get Drogba and Torres to play together? A better question is, what kind of manager would sell one of the best players in the world without at least trying to pair them up together? He has the summer to prepare them, unlike Ancelotti who took on Torres mid season.

        • MUFCforlife

          July 3, 2011 at 3:05 am

          I agree with you that rest will make him better as he returns. Even though he did start later than usual, I still believe there are just limitations to someone of his age that no one can disregard no matter how long he’s been playing. I think he’ll come back ready, but Chelsea may already be thinking about the future with all the guys Villas Boas wants.

          As much as its difficult to get players to perform well when they come in midseason, I see too much of an issue with pairing drogba/torres. You got two guys who play their own style perform when the ball is at their feet. You may disagree with me, but Drogba isn’t exactly known to be a selfless footballer who is always thinking about the team first. That really doesn’t help a struggiling striker like Torres who needs to be properly fed the ball as well as good service form his midfield.
          In my mind, Torres is in a fog with Chelsea, Drogba is going to return to form but will struggle to get consistent time on the pitch, and Chelsea under villas boas is already going to be thinking about repalcements like falcao or lukaku.

      • jason

        August 11, 2011 at 8:30 am

        drogba is going to be hot everyone thought he couldn’t play with anelka
        but he can

  9. Shoji

    July 1, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Please stay in Chelsea, Didier. You are awesome and we still need you to win the Champions League with us. I know theres been ups and downs but im sure you still have plenty to offer.

  10. reidscott

    July 1, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Would prefer to see him back with OM…looks like The Blues are going Spanish…not a bad idea…I say they are in the finals Vs Barca in 2 years…maybe even next year…

    • reidscott

      July 1, 2011 at 8:15 pm

      If they can pull off the changes he wants that is…

      • MUFCforlife

        July 1, 2011 at 9:17 pm

        Even if they go “Spanish”, they still have a long way to go before. With new additions, they need time to build chemistry.

  11. Galatasaray Sözlük

    July 1, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Drogba naber lan? Gelsene Galatasaray’a. Hadi bekliyoruz. Öptüm.

  12. Harry

    July 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Chelsea have the unenviable task of selling Torres or Drogba. It’s apparent they can’t play together and Drogba wasn’t happy with the arrival of Torres. Drogba can be sold without too much of a loss while nobody will be willing to pay anything above 25 million for Torres given his lack of form. Still it will be intersting to see what the new manager does. I think Villas-Boas will bring in his own striker, either someone from Porto or elsewhere.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Drogba ended up at another EPl club. Spurs are a possibility.

    • MUFCforlife

      July 1, 2011 at 9:12 pm

      Unless if Tottenham or some midlevel team like Bolton give him a massive one year deal, I really don’ think he’ll stay in the EPL. Marseille makes sense for him.

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