Chelsea Transfer News: What's Next for Blues After Didier Drogba's Departure?
The Ivorian striker has made 341 appearances for Chelsea, finding the net on 157 occasions. His impressive goal-scoring tally includes 10 goals in 10 cup finals, making him a talismanic figure as Chelsea amassed three league titles, four FA Cups, two league cups and Champions League glory.
Amid the sadness, however, it is important for the Blues to look to the future.
Winning the European Cup may have been the final building block in the legacy Roman Abramovich planned to build when he purchased the club in June 2003, but the foundations that have supported the Blue empire now need to be rebuilt.
Despite achieving their greatest success, Chelsea are a club facing an uncertain future. They are in need of a permanent manager, a new stadium and fresh talent that can start a second age in Abramovich’s footballing empire.
Perhaps the most interesting talking point ahead of next season will be whether Fernando Torres is good enough to be Chelsea’s primary goal-scoring machine.
The £50 million Spaniard played more than 25 hours of competitive football without scoring last season, but he has slowly begun to rebuild his former reputation. Will Chelsea trust him to spearhead their attack next season? Or will they chose to heavily invest in a new striker?
Torres will not be the only beneficiary of Drogba’s departure.
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Daniel Sturridge may finally be given the chance to play in the centre of attack, as opposed to the wing, should Chelsea opt to play a game that will involve passing and moving. Such a change in philosophy could also benefit hot academy prospects such as Josh McEachran, Kevin de Bruyne and Lucas Piazón.
Of course, with Romelu Lukaku lurking in the squad the option is open for Chelsea to continue the style of play that has served them well over the Abramovich years. The young Belgian striker has seemingly everything in his artillery to be a replacement for Drogba—apart from experience.
If Chelsea wants to continue challenging for league glory, however, they will need to assemble a team that has more attacking menace.
The top five clubs in the Premier League all played an aggressive style of football this campaign, suggesting Chelsea’s philosophy may finally be out of date. Yes, they have won the Champions League, but a league campaign exposes weaknesses in a squad that a tournament does not. Chelsea cannot rest on their laurels.
Abramovich is seemingly aware of the need to imitate a Barcelona-esque style of football. The sport has evolved in recent seasons, but Chelsea’s attempts to keep up are personified in Andre Villas- Boas’ failed reign.
Despite the success of this season, change is a necessity. Chelsea’s current crop of players are either too old or technically not good enough for long-term success. A tactically astute manager is required as well as the arrival of a plethora of naturally gifted players.
Should Chelsea have offered Drogba a new contract?
In Roberto Di Matteo they have a talented, young manager whose dynamic talent on the pitch helped build Chelsea into the force they are today. He has the adoration of fans and players and his claim to the managerial seat is validated by all but the Chelsea hierarchy.
Signing players will be more difficult than appointing a permanent manager.
Winning European glory symbolises the end of the Chelsea old guard, but it could also be used to attract new talent and create a second generation of success at the club.
The next chapter will start without Drogba, but the gold star on their famous blue strip will be a permanent reminder of his remarkable performance in Munich.
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