There have been many outstanding contributions in the Premier League this season, with the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Harry Kane, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Toby Alderweireld all standing out individually. However, there has been an outstanding contribution from an entire team this season, and that has been from Antonio Conte’s Chelsea.
Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante, Gary Cahill and Thibaut Courtois have once again been in awesome form as they continue to try to shake off the Jose Mourinho slaying performances of the season before.
Diego Costa has also been in fine form, netting 18 times across all competitions to date. The fiery Spaniard has been at his aggressive best, as he too looks to forget about the season before. While the striker has been fantastic this season for the Blues, there is a former striker that would take them to the next level, and that man, is of course, Didier Drogba.
The Ivory Coast international earned himself the title of a Chelsea legend, and rightly so during his eight-year stint at the London club. The huge forward scored 100 goals in 226 appearances for Chelsea as he spearheaded the Roman Abramovich revolution.
Drogba signed from French side Marseille in 2004 for £24 million, possibly Jose Mourinho’s best signing. He was quite a slow starter though, as he struggled to keep up with the pace and physicality of the Premier League, often being accused of going down too easily under challenge.
Unfortunately for the forward his opening season in England was curtailed after he pulled a stomach muscle, but he immediately wrote himself into Chelsea folklore as he returned to score the decisive goal in extra-time of the League Cup final, handing the Blues a 3-2 victory over Liverpool.
In his first two seasons with Chelsea, Drogba hit 32 goals in all competitions, while in his third season, he scored 33 times as he began to showcase just how ruthless he could be.
However, following this glut of goals, Drogba struggled with injury, discipline and lack of form as he was in and out of the Chelsea team. He was able to put these troubles behind him though as he once again became an invaluable member of the side as Chelsea continued to win silverware in England.
The game that all Chelsea fans remember Drogba for though is the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in 2012:
Didier Drogba vs Bayern Munich pic.twitter.com/yA0tGBaIpz
— Aziz (@SimplyLampard) July 14, 2016
His header and his Champions League winning penalty were the high points of both his career, and of the existence of Chelsea football club. After being dominated for so long, and being without the likes of John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic and, Chelsea’s greatest ever beard wearer Raul Meireles, and having to start Jose ‘the unibrow’ Bosingwa, the Blues needed someone to step up, and he did just that.
His late power header only enhanced his record in cup finals as he made it nine goals in nine finals. Simply incredible.
Drogba did return to the Blues in 2014 for the season, but this was more his swan-song, a chance for the striker to get cheered every time he got on the ball, and it sent the fans into meltdown when he scored, although this was nowhere near as frequent as during his first stint with the club.
A vintage Didier Drogba is probably the best striker Chelsea have had in recent years. His speed, power, intelligence on and off the ball and ability to shoot and score from anywhere were absolutely legendary, just ask Tim Howard.
Goal of the Day:
⚽Didier Drogba Chelsea vs Everton 🔙in 2006.🔵
🚀What a Strike!🔥💥 pic.twitter.com/lfoT25Q79y
— Football Nat10n (@FootballNat10n) March 17, 2017
While Costa is very reminiscent of Drogba with his pace, aerial ability and scoring streak, he has a long way to go if he is to even emulate, let alone surpass the Ivorian legend.
A rebooted Drogba would add competition for the Spaniard and also backup, with Chelsea bereft of another striker that could take up the mantle should Costa get injured, or more likely suspended.
His attitude in current football too is something to be marvelled at. He is not a man that will be plastered on the back pages following a training ground bust-up, quite the opposite in fact. Drogba was a man that seemed more intent on taking any frustration out on the ball, with the Ivorian able to leather a shot from just about anywhere.
With an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley against Tottenham just around the corner, Drogba would prove the perfect man for the big occasion. His record in finals speaks for itself, while he seems to have a love of breaking Tottenham’s hearts, he’s a true Chelsea boy then.
In the new era of Chelsea, there have been many idols such as John Terry, Frank Lampard and Petr Cech, but none of them stand taller than Didier Drogba, Chelsea’s man for any final.
Wonder how Droba would compare to the value of every single current Chelsea player…