Just two years after leaving Chelsea for a move to China with Shanghai Shenhua, Didier Drogba is back in West London. Having left Galatasaray on a free transfer, Blues boss Jose Mourinho has handed the Ivorian an emotional return to Stamford Bridge, but how does Chelsea's move to sign Drogba grade out?
It's no secret that Chelsea needed to overhaul their striking options. Demba Ba, Samuel Eto'o and Fernando Torres all struggled to find the back of the net consistently last season, with Ba and Eto'o already being allowed to leave. Youngster Romelu Lukaku has been sold to Everton following a successful loan spell, which would've left Mourinho with just new signing Diego Costa and the aforementioned Torres. Costa may take some time to adjust to English football and Torres remains goal shy, so signing an experienced, prolific striker ticks all the right boxes. He showed at the World Cup that he still carries that daunting physical presence, and whilst he doesn't have the same pace as his first spell with the club, a one-year deal makes perfect sense - particularly considering that the Blues legend will now get to finish his career at the club where he became a star.
Whilst the sentimentality is touching, there are still concerns over Chelsea's strike force. Is a 36-year-old Drogba enough to carry the Blues to the title given that the only other options at Mourinho's disposal are Costa and Torres? At 36, Drogba won't be the same devastating striker that he was when he arrived from Marseille. It already appears that some Chelsea fans are lauding Drogba as if he was the same player from ten years ago, and there's a very big danger of them being disappointed with the Ivorians return if they don't factor in his age.
Drogba won't and can't be expected to have the same impact as his first spell at the club, but a one-year return is good for the club and for the fans. Expect the 36-year-old to chip in with around 10-15 goals this season before taking a bigger role on Mourinho's coaching staff, whilst the signing will no doubt strike fear in to Arsenal given his incredible record against the Gunners. However, Chelsea should still be looking to sign another striker with Drogba only staying for 12 months, but the deal is good for all parties.