Since arriving at Stamford Bridge in 2004, Didier Drogba has been one of Chelsea’s best players if not the best, scoring 146 goals in 316 matches (all competitions), helping the club win three Premier League titles. At 33, struggling to find his form under Andre Villas-Boas, like the entire squad, it seems that Drogba will be playing somewhere else next year.
It’s not a new thing, having Drogba threaten to take his talents elsewhere. It happens every time a contract negotiations is on the table, or the Ivorian feels disrespected, or just wants more money. The club has offered him a new one year deal with his current contract ending this season. Drogba rejected the offer.
Drogba’s agent, Thierno Seydi, made it very clear on where the situations stand – Didier has had the offer of a one-year extension from Chelsea. That does not suit us. We know what we want, where we want to go and what offers we have. AC Milan came in for Didier on loan with an option to buy but I said ‘no’ straight away. Their offer did not interest us.
At Didier’s age, he has nothing left to prove as a player. He will go where he is offered the most money. It could be the United States, Russia, Qatar or somewhere else in Asia. Once you are well into your thirties you have to go to a club where you can be certain you’ll be able to pay your bills. LA Galaxy are a possibility among many others. He has been linked with Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia, as they pay well. But neither Didier nor I have had an offer from them.
I find it hard to believe Droga will have any problem paying his bills in the near future or at any time at all. He currently earns just over €7 million a year. It seems like Anzhi are the only club capable of offering such an annual sum for Drogba, who’s best years are behind him. It’s clear the Villas-Boas, despite starting with in light of Fernando Torres’ inability to repay the constant faith, wants someone else. Daniel Sturridge’s place seems more secure than Didier’s. The revolution, you know.
I can’t criticize a player for wanting to make the most, financially, out of his final career years. Despite that, being a sport fan besides trying to stay objective and neutral, it pains me every time to hear a player’s goal, after making more money in a single season than most of us will make in a lifetime, is to squeeze out as many notes as possible from future employers before he retires and goes into footballing pension before he’s 40.
This isn’t taking a stab at Drogba. He’s not the first and not the last. I just hope he chooses anywhere but the Gulf leagues. He might be making more money there, but football loses meaning when playing there. The United States, Russia or anyone else willing to give him a nice, comfortable retirement fund but also offers some sort of competitive edge will be welcomed by us.