Frank Lampard admits he would love to see Didier Drogba return to Chelsea on a permanent basis, following his brief visit to the club this week.
The Ivorian is regarded by some as the best player ever to wear the blue shirt, and he will forever be remembered for his deciding spot-kick which won them the UEFA Champions League against Bayern Munich in 2012. He was given a heroes reception when he returned to Stamford Bridge with Galatasaray on Tuesday evening, a match in which the Premier League side won 2-0 to advance to the last eight on aggregate.
Before the match there was plenty of talk that Drogba may return to Chelsea on a permanent basis in the near future, to either prolong his playing career or take his first steps in a coaching role. Should Jose Mourinho sign the 36-year-old during the summer it would be warmly received at the club, not just by the fans, but also the players such as Lampard who has nothing but praise for the former Marseille forward.
“Of course I’d like to see Didier Drogba back as a coach or as a player,” the England international star told the Evening Standard. “The manager said before the game that you can’t see him not being part of the club in some shape or form. It’s up to him and the club, but he’s always going to be regarded as a legend and held in the top bracket in this club. I’m sure if he can give something back, I’m sure Didier would love to.”
Drogba initially linked up with the Blues in the summer of 2004, when Mourinho paid £24million for his signature. As well as the Champions League glory in Munich, he went on to play a key role in their Premier League successes of 2005, 2006 and 2010, and helped the capital club to four FA Cups and two League Cups in his eight-year spell.
Lampard, meanwhile, is relishing the prospect of being involved in a race for the title again this season. The Blues have had to take a backseat as the Premier League crown has resided in Manchester – twice with United and once with City – since they last won it under Carlo Ancelotti, but they are currently leading the standings at the business end.
“It’s great to be in this position,” said the midfielder ahead of the visit of Arsenal on Saturday. “We’ve had a couple of years, two or three years, off the pace, finishing short. It’s great to be back in the race and to feel that around the club, to feel we’re fighting for the title rather than fighting for fourth place. It feels good.”