Chelsea FC have signed Didier Drogba on a one-year contract, hours after manager Jose Mourinho expressed his interest in signing him.
After days of speculations, Didier Drogba has returned to Stamford Bridge on a one-year contract, hours after Jose Mourinho expressed his desire to re-sign the striker.
Didier Drogba expressed his delight at having completed his move back to the club close to his heart. He insisted that the lure of working with Mourinho, once again, was too much for him to turn down.
“It was an easy decision – I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to work with Jose again. Everyone knows the special relationship I have with this club and it has always felt like home to me.
“My desire to win is still the same and I look forward to the opportunity to help this team. I am excited for this next chapter of my career.” – Drogba said.
The 36-year-old joined Chelsea in 2004 from French side Marseille and went on to establish himself as one of the greatest players to represent the Blues. Drogba was the lynchpin of the successful Jose Mourinho side, along with John Terry, Petr Cech and Frank Lampard, and lifted three league titles during his stint in England.
The Ivorian striker also won four FA Cup and two league cup titles as he became the first player to score in four FA Cup finals. Drogba, who was always rated as a big game player, ended his first Chelsea stint by winning the Champions League in his last game where he scored the equalizer and the deciding penalty in the shoot-out.
After leaving Stamford Bridge, Drogba had spells at Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua and Galatasaray. Last season he made an emotion return to London the Champions League clash between the two sides.
The 36-year-old’s contract with Galatasaray expired this summer and Drogba became a free-agent. A host of clubs were interested in his signature with reports in Italy suggesting that Juventus offered him a lucrative contract. But Drogba turned it down in favour of a move to his old club.
The Chelsea manager also confirmed their interest in bringing back Drogba, hours before it was made official. He insisted that Drogba will strengthen the squad and help in winning titles next season.
“We want to win matches and win titles and Didier is one of the best strikers in Europe and still very adapted to the needs of the Premier League.
“We are thinking about it in a non-emotional way. If we bring him back it is not because he is Didier or scored the most important goal in the history of Chelsea football or because, as I have read somewhere, I need an assistant. No.
“If I bring him back – and the decision has to be made soon, because I want to close the dressing-room door – it is because as a player he has certain qualities to make the team stronger.
“With Didier’s profile, being a squad player he could be important for any team. And because we know his heart is pushing him to where he feels he belongs, and because our boss has this big feeling towards him, we are thinking about the possibility.
“We feel that Didier belongs to us. Is he coming back as a player for one more year or a couple more years? Let’s see what is going to happen.
“The team is not about the XI, it is about the different options, and as an option I would not say no about the possibility of Didier.
“It is the position where it is more common that the player who starts the game doesn’t finish. It is easier to have them all motivated and all happy in a certain way.
“Exactly because of that, the striker’s position is not the one where the manager does not have two players for one position. We have three or four options.” – The Chelsea manager said back then.
Chelsea have already signed Diego Costa this summer, but were in need of a back-up striker with Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba leaving the club. Fernando Torres isn’t reliable enough to deliver as a second choice striker and Drogba, with his experience and ability to inspire, can have a big impact as Chelsea look to win back the title after enduring a disappointing season last time around. But his arrival could also mean the end of Romelu Lukaku’s career at Chelsea, who will fall further down the pecking order.
“He’s coming because he’s one of the best strikers in Europe. I know his personality very well and I know if he comes back he’s not protected by history or what he’s done for this club previously. He is coming with the mentality to make more history.” – Mourinho said.