Jose Mourinho has confirmed he wants Didier Drogba back at Stamford Bridge.
The Chelsea manager has recruited Diego Costa as his new star striker, but he sees Drogba as a valuable member of his squad going into the new campaign.
‘We think about it,’ said Mourinho of Drogba. ‘We want to win matches and win titles and Didier is one of the best strikers in Europe.
‘He is still very adapted to the needs of the Premier League and we are thinking about it in a non-emotional way.
‘If you bring him back it is not because he is Didier or scored the most important goal in the history of Chelsea, or because I read I need an assistant, no.
‘If I bring him back, and the decision has to be made soon, it is because as a player he has qualities to make the team stronger. The team is not about the eleven. It is about the different options and as an option I would not say no about the possibility.’
Mourinho might insist any decision to bring back Drogba will be non-emotional but he does recognise the 36-year-old ‘belongs’ to Chelsea. ‘With Didier’s profile, being a squad player I think could be important for any team,’ he said.
‘And because we know his heart is pushing him to where he feels he belongs, and because our boss (owner Roman Abramovich) has this big feeling towards him, we are thinking about the possibility. Mr Abramovich is very intelligent and he feels that people belong to the club. We feel that Didier belongs to us. Is he coming back as a player one more year or a couple more years? Let’s see.’
Mourinho likens Drogba to Frank Lampard, who was unveiled at New York City yesterday. He said: ‘The way Mr Abramovich approached the Frank Lampard situation is amazing: “You go if you want to go; you come back if you want to come back. And you come back the way you want — to be an assistant, to be an ambassador, to be a director, to be a coach, to be an assistant coach”. That is fantastic.’
Meanwhile, Mourinho faces a delicate balancing act as he tries to keep two world-class goalkeepers happy this season.
Petr Cech was understandably delighted here on Wednesday night after completing his first game since dislocating his shoulder in April.
But it was not long before the talk turned to the imminent arrival of Thibaut Courtois, the 22-year-old who has starred for Atletico Madrid — and is 10 years his junior.
‘I don’t want to sit on the bench,’ said Cech. ‘I always give my best and obviously that is all I can do. I will do my best and do everything I can do to be as ready as possible for when the season starts. Jose Mourinho will make his choice and decide how his team is going to look for the first game, second game, third game, whatever game.
‘It is up to us players to show we are ready to play and make him pick us. I am doing everything I can to make him pick me.’
Right now Cech is simply pleased to be back in shape. ‘It’s great to be back,’ he said. He deserves credit given it was said he would not return from his injury until September.
‘I spent the days at Cobham working,’ he said. ‘I did as much as I could. If you keep working, you push the boundaries to the limit.’
It means he is ready to take on the challenge of Courtois.
Or a challenge at a new club should Mourinho opt for the younger man before the transfer window closes. – Daily Mail