There were few people questioning Jose Mourinho's decision to loan Fernando Torres to AC Milan for two seasons. The Spain striker was the ultimate poisoned chalice for Chelsea; laughing fodder for their Premier League rivals.
Regardless of how Torres faired at AC Milan, a move away from Stamford Bridge would have always been seen as the right decision for Mourinho. However, his decision to replace Torres with the 36-year-old Didier Drogba was a strange one.
Drogba would not have been in the minds of any of Europe's top clubs despite his free agent status. He was awarded a one-year deal with Chelsea on ceremony alone. No one expected him to add to their title charge.
Even Mourinho was not too sure; his late purchase of Loic Remy was testament to that. But when an order was placed, Drogba once again delivered for Chelsea and has gone someway to justifying his place in the squad.
With Diego Costa sidelined with a troublesome hamstring injury and Remy also going down with a groin strain, Mourinho sensed trouble. He had a big game against Manchester United coming up and only Drogba to play upfront.
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Although he proved so effective for Chelsea in his prime years, spells in China and Turkey were expected to have turned the Ivorian soft in the face of quality Premier League opposition. But he turned up and scored the vital goal which almost sealed them a defining win at Old Trafford. Even the draw has kept the Chelsea gravy train rolling.
With Costa set to return for the game against QPR, Drogba is likely to regress to his role as understudy, but his presence in the squad is now firmly justified. He still has the quality to play top flight football and Mourinho will think twice when Costa next needs a rest.
The real genius has come from shipping out Torres and bringing in someone better whilst not spending any money. As previously stated, Torres was never going to prove much benefit to Chelsea. Just his presence at Stamford Bridge left a nasty satirical smell lingering.
Curse of Torres
When he scored, fans would cheer ironically. When he didn't, the critics reminded him of that £50 million worth of weight on his shoulders; not to mention his £170,000-a-week wages. Now Chelsea's squad striker is a player likely to stick around once his playing days are long gone.
While Drogba's best days are behind him, his legendary status at Stamford Bridge and array of winner's medals sit as an inspiration to those around him. In comparison, Torres would sit there as a warning sign to those world-class players. A 'this is what you don't want to be' kind of figure.
Mourinho may not have meant it, but he has managed to rid Chelsea of a proverbial ball and chain and replace him with a divine influence, capable of both scoring goals and dragging people up to his celestial level.
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