The longstanding saga surrounding Didier Drogba's potential return to Stamford Bridge will soon be provided with a conclusion as Jose Mourinho once again teased the thought of a reunion this week.
The Blues boss has hailed his former talisman as still being one of the best striking talents on the continent, per Matt Lawton of the Daily Mail, highlighting a swift deal is on the cards:
We think about it. We want to win matches and win titles and Didier is one of the best strikers in Europe. He is still very adapted to the needs of the Premier League and we are thinking about it in a non-emotional way.
If you bring him back it is not because he is Didier or scored the most important goal in the history of Chelsea, or because I read I need an assistant, no.
If I bring him back, and the decision has to be made soon, it is because as a player he has qualities to make the team stronger. The team is not about the eleven. It is about the different options and as an option I would not say no about the possibility.
This means the former Atletico Madrid star is joined by Fernando Torres and Romelu Lukaku to fight it out for a place in Mourinho's starting line-up. Mourinho discussed in what capacity Drogba could return, as well as touching upon the fate-like factors he feels will play a part in his comeback:
Because we know his heart is pushing him to where he feels he belongs, and because our boss (owner Roman Abramovich) has this big feeling towards him, we are thinking about the possibility. Mr Abramovich is very intelligent and he feels that people belong to the club. We feel that Didier belongs to us. Is he coming back as a player one more year or a couple more years? Let’s see.
At the age of 36, Drogba may not be the same talent he was upon leaving Chelsea in 2012, but the veteran forward showed in an 18-month spell with Galatasaray that his knack for finding the back of the net remains.
He scored 10 goals in 24 Super Lig appearances last season, according to WhoScored, also managing two goals and three assists in eight Champions League outings.
|Premier League Appearances||Premier League Goals||Total Appearances||Total Goals|
WhoScored recently broke down Costa's statistics as the Spanish international seeks to fill the void that hasn't been since Drogba's departure, but there may be the chance that both attackers get their chance in 2014-15:
Back in February, Jeremy Wilson of the Telegraph noted Drogba's tendency to turn up for the Blues on the biggest stages, which would assuredly be one attribute Mourinho could find a use for if Drogba were to sign once more:
Striking thing about Drogba is big game delivery. Scored in 8/9 Cup finals for #cfc. 4 X FA Cup, 3 x Lge Cup, 1 x Ch Lge— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) February 24, 2014
Mourinho's focus on sanctioning a quick move for the Ivorian international—who recently featured in the 2014 World Cup—is key in the argument, too. Drogba may have previously thrived at the club, but the Blues' landscape is far different these days.
With Frank Lampard's exit, Drogba will miss one key resource with whom a lot of his own success came about, and he would need as much time as any other to re-adapt, irrespective of how familiar the setting is.
The new Premier League campaign is now just three weeks away, and although Chelsea have longer than that in which they can procure Drogba's talents, an early deal will always hold preference over a late one where transfer fees are not an issue.
Those at Stamford Bridge would undoubtedly be happy to see the striker return in any role, but Mourinho evidently feels his bastion still has a lot to offer as part of the squad.