Drogba, the 33 year-old Ivorian forward, rolled back the years to produce a menacing performance to secure Chelsea’s passage into the last 16 of the Champions League. Having been restricted to a limited number of appearances this term and only contracted to Chelsea until the end of the season, the blues Hitman has now netted four times in his last four games.
It has been widely speculated in recent weeks the striker would be plying his trade elsewhere come the season’s finale, however last night’s goals and performance will do the Drog’s case no harm whilst his current employers mule over offering their number 11 the two year extension he craves. The recent change of fortunes for Drogba will also widen his future options if the Stamford Bridge outfit decide against offering him more than just an extra year, with the forward being allowed to sign a pre-contract with potential suitors come January.
However Drogba’s game against Valencia had everything power, presence, pace, goals and an assist. For a game where Chelsea found themselves under huge pressure from sections of the media knowing it was a win or bust situation for the club and arguably equally so for manager Andre Villas Boas, Drogba picked the right time to step to the fore.
While the newspapers continue to speculate a whole host of clubs who while be queuing for the African’s services, it is what the Chelsea board of directors decide to do that will prove the pivotal factor in shaping Drogba’s future. With links to join up with former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho at the Bernabeau surfacing and speculation he will join cash happy Anzhi Makhachkala, a fit and scoring Drogba could prove a valuable coup for another Club at Chelsea’s expense.
Surely after his goal against Newcastle last weekend and his bulldozing display on Tuesday night which inspired Andre Villas Boas’ men to progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League, an inform Drogba must be a certainty to start the weekends match against Manchester City alongside Daniel Sturridge.
Right now, Drogba’s future still remains unclear, however if this rich vein of form continues throughout the festive fixture frenzy in December, Chelsea may have to tie up a 2-year deal for their centre forward before he is prized away to another club for nothing. With Anelka already expressing his desire to leave can the west Londoner’s afford to lose another veteran striker?
In short, this consistency of late has certainly given those who felt Drogba was a spent force plenty of food for thought, as has it given the blues board and other European football clubs chasing the talismans signature.
Simon Blaquiere @simonblaquiere1