It’s been one hell of a transfer window for Chelsea Football Club. After a trophy less campaign, it hasn’t taken manager Jose Mourinho to wring the changes and turn the Blues into a formidable-looking force.
The two positions where Chelsea most-needed reinforcements were centre forward and centre midfield, the latter in which a huge vacuum had been created by the departure of Frank Lampard, the club’s highest ever goalscorer. The signings that Mourinho made though, were absolutely fantastic. He brought in Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona to replace Lampard, and Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid to address the dearth of goalscorers upfront. Chelsea have also signed left-back Filipe Luis, one of the stars of the title-winning Atletico side last season, to replace the outgoing Ashley Cole.
The Portuguese then announced last week that Chelsea’s transfer window is over. There were people who believed him, but the vast majority knew that Mourinho was not a man whose words could be taken at face value.
And on Saturday, Chelsea announced the return of arguably the most talismanic striker in the history of their club – Didier Drogba. Drogba, who left Chelsea in 2012, has signed a one-year deal and assumes a role which many predict could be that of a player-coach.
This move has raised several eyebrows, as Chelsea already have three established strikers in Costa, Romelu Lukaku and Fernando Torres in their squad, along with the promising youngster Patrick Bamford coming through.
There is no questioning the fact that Drogba, now 36, will not be as effective on the pitch as he was whilst in his prime a few years ago. His role, therefore, will be a very interesting one.
Chelsea are in a period of transition as a football club. Big names like John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Petr Cech and Drogba himself, who played a major role in the progress and the success of the club over the last decade, have either left the club or are on the brink of doing so. A new breed of youngsters has come through and the future looks bright.
Having a figure like Drogba in the dressing-room though, will be monumental for these young players. The likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Andre Schuerrle, Filipe Luis and Diego Costa are still in the nascent stages of their Chelsea career and are in the process of acclimatising with the English game. Drogba, who has achieved almost everything there is to achieve in English and European football, and who is an accepted leader at both club and country, will play a huge part in these players’ careers as they make the leap from promising youngsters to world-class footballers. With Lampard having left for New York in the summer, Drogba’s signing will also make sure that Terry doesn’t have to shoulder that responsibility alone.
For the Chelsea fans, Didier Drogba is a cult-hero, a role model. He scored 157 goals in 341 appearances in 8 years at Chelsea, including 9 goals in 9 Cup Finals.
With his last kick in his first stint with the club, he scored the winning penalty in the Champions League final, landing the Big-Ears Trophy to the Stamford Bridge for the first time ever. Add to that his phenomenal record of scoring in finals along with his tremendous ability to find the net in big games when it matters most, and you know why his status of immortality is secured at Chelsea.
His return will provide a massive boost to the Blues’ faithful, and chants of ‘Didier Drogba…Tra-la-la-la-la’ are sure to go up from the very first game.
The recent World Cup showed that even though he has lost some of his pace, the strength of the man still remains as it was. He may not play 90 minutes, but with his reputation and record, he will terrorise any opposition even today, when he does play.
Drogba’s impact on Chelsea this season will no doubt be evident. To add to his physical strength, he also shows incredible character and heart when his team need it the most, and these qualities get transmitted to all his teammates.
His relationship with Mourinho has always been fantastic. The manager will know that he found a close aide and friend by his side with Drogba’s return. And, when things are not going as planned on the field, he will have an ace up his sleeve.