Chelsea must make January move for Drogba

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Football News

With the addition of Brazilian playmaker Willian during the closing stages of the transfer window and the likes of Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar already at Stamford Bridge, returning manager Jose Mourinho certainly has an admirable glut of attacking midfield options to select from during his second stint as Blues boss.

What has become increasingly and painfully evident in recent weeks, however, is that the controversial Portuguese faces a more pressing conundrum in the final third as his current batch of strikers continue to suffer from a rather embarrassing goal drought.

Accompanying Willian to West London from troubled Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala was veteran Cameroonian international Samuel Eto'o. The 32-year-old clearly has an outstanding pedigree and proved his undoubted quality during previous stints with Inter Milan and Catalan giants Barcelona. 

Despite his previous achievements, however, in his first few Chelsea appearances Eto'o has looked uncomfortable and rather pressing questions have already arisen about his ability to adapt to such a demanding league after a period of exile from top competition. 

Frequently-maligned £50 million man Fernando Torres, who was one of the league's top goalscoring talents during his stint on Merseyside with Liverpool, does seem to have regained a sense of urgency and vigour under Mourinho's tutelage but he is currently suffering through injury and it is apparent that the former Real Madrid manager is yet to fully invest significant faith in the Spaniard.

Given Eto'o's ineffectiveness, Torres' continued struggles and Demba Ba's mediocre status, it is obvious to me and, it would appear also to the majority of rational Blues supporters, that formidable Belgian starlet Romelu Lukaku, although still lacking in experience, was Chelsea's best option upfront this season. 

Although he is undeniably raw, his sheer pace, physicality and ruthlessness inside the opposition penalty area makes him an absolute nuisance for top-flight defenders.

With no possibility of Lukaku returning from his loan spell with Roberto Martinez's Everon this season, however, Chelsea's next best option would be to seek a short-term switch for the man the dominant 20-year-old often draws frequent comparisons to: Ivory Coast international Didier Drogba.

Drogba, who became synonymous with the club in an eight-year spell between 2004-12, is well-known to Mourinho given that it was he who brought him to the club from Ligue 1 giants Marseille in the first place.

While he only left Chelsea to seek a new challenge after a fairytale finish in which he secured the club their maiden Champions League triumph with the winning penalty in final against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in 2012, he obviously retains a glowing affection for the club and I presume as such he would find it immensely difficult to ignore a desperate SOS call from his former employers in January.

In Galatasaray's 2-2 draw in Turin against Juventus last night, Drogba fully showcased the ability that saw him cement an enduring legacy during a highly-successful spell at Stamford Bridge and Mourinho will be fully aware of the quality and strengths that he can still bring to the table.

Given new Gala boss Roberto Mancini's track record of dressing room harmony, the 35-year-old may see a return to Chelsea as a far better option than attempting to maintain the peace at Türk Telekom Arena during what is sure to be an eventful spell under the fiery Italian.

As countless clubs have proved over the last few seasons - Chelsea included - spending substantial sums to remedy pressing problems in January is rarely a good idea. On too many occasions we have seen clubs, particularly in the Premier League, panic themselves into lavishing vast amounts of money on speculative signings who often cause more harm than good.

I am certainly not suggesting that a return for Drogba is a viable or particularly sensible long-term option for Chelsea. However, in the short-term, if Mourinho is looking for a temporary cure for his ailing striking unit before he seeks to address the problem on a grander scale during the summer, then he should look no further than a temporary return for the powerful Ivorian.

Premier League
Didier Drogba

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