Was what Didier Drogba wanted too much to ask? Making just a little bit of extra cash while playing without the pressures of the Champions League and the Premier League on his shoulders? As things go south for him and other in China, the option of returning to the Premier League becomes clearer and clearer, with Arsenal stepping up as the main contenders for his services.
The issue in China? Money problems, with Shanghai Shenhua’s notorious owner, Zhu Jun, up to his usual antics. Maybe Drogba and his agents didn’t do enough background checks before signing on a £200,000 a week deal with the club, but Jun tends to squirm away from his contracts, especially the expensive ones, in any means necessary. The power struggles and money problems at the club might mean that both Drogba and Nicolas Anelka will be free players very soon.
While there isn’t much interest in Anelka at the moment from high profile club, as he’s been in China a bit longer than Drogba has and possibly a bit more forgotten, Arsenal weren’t the first to reach out to the Ivorian striker. Tottenham and Liverpool, always interested in the same players this summer (I wonder where the leak is coming from), also seemed to look for a way and reel back Drogba to England, although Arsenal seem like the more serious destination.
Arsene Wenger, quite simply, isn’t happy with his striker situation. He believes in Olivier Giroud despite the slow start, but having only him as an option up front doesn’t seem like such a great prospect in his mind, and seeing the chance to sign someone like Drogba, who scored 13 goals in 35 matches last season for Chelsea, showing his true worth on the big occasions while showing his age on the lesser stage, who can add both what’s left from his goal scoring ability, but more importantly his mentality, influence and experience.
Even if the things in China do go south for Drogba and he chooses to make an English return, he can’t be signed until January, which means Arsenal are going to have to deal with what they have (which isn’t that bad, looking at their 2-0 win at Anfield before the international break) for te time being, while Drogba keeps dreaming of someone that’ll save him from the developing nightmare in Shanghai.
Drogba played for 8 seasons in the Premier League with Chelsea, winning three league titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League. He finished his career there with 157 goals in 341 matches spanning all competitions.