Chelsea players have told Jose Mourinho they want Didier Drogba back at the club in a desperate attempt to reignite their season, reports the Sun.
The Blues are lingering in 16th place in the Premier League after losing seven of their opening 12 games – their worst start to a campaign since 1978. Rather worryingly, they ended that season rock bottom of the old First Division and were relegated.
No one expects Mourinho to send Chelsea down, but they face a mammoth task to qualify for next season's Champions League and their title hopes are all but over.
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Several senior first-team stars believe the difference between their form last season and the disaster that has been their title defence is none other than the legendary striker Drogba.
A source from within the depths of Stamford Bridge told the same report: “Didier was always the man who kept spirits up.
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“He can speak three or four languages and was on great terms with pretty much every different nationality in the whole squad.
“He was the one who used to post pictures of the players together on Instagram. He bought the gold rings for his team-mates to commemorate the Champions League win in 2012.
“A few players have spoken about how they miss him and it would be great if he could come back to train and reignite the old spark.”
Drogba returned to Chelsea to play a cameo role as a third-choice striker in 2014 but contributed significantly on the training ground before departing for the MLS in the summer.
The 37-year-old could not inspire Montreal Impact to the MLS Cup and after being knocked out in the playoffs, is now enjoying pre-season until January.
It is the perfect opportunity for Mourinho to bring Drogba back. The dreadful form of Diego Costa, Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao means the Ivory Coast legend could probably get some game time, but it is likely he will just be offered a role of Mr Motivator at their Cobham training base.
Could he replace Mourinho?
Paddy Power are currently offering 50/1 odds on Drogba becoming Chelsea's next manager and, based on the obvious standing he has amongst the team, it could well be worth a pound.
With top managerial targets Diego Simeone and Carlo Ancelotti unavailable until the summer at least, an interim role for a club legend may actually be on the cards of Mourinho cannot turn things around.