Didier Drogba confirms Galatasaray exit, could he return to England?


Chelsea legend Didier Drogba confirmed via Instagram that he will be leaving Turkish giants Galatasaray at the expiry of his contract this summer.

With his exit in mind, could the ageless Ivorian make a return to the Premier League?

The 36-year-old clearly still have plenty of love for his former club Chelsea, with Drogba claiming he was the “luckiest man in the Champions League” upon learning his Galatasaray would match up with the Blues in the competition.

Reports have indicated that Jose Mourinho could be interested in returning Drogba to the place he wont the Champions League in 2012, but that would likely be contingent on a number of things falling into place.

It is true that Chelsea are starving for striker help. However, with Diego Costa rumored to be on his way to Stamford Bridge, and both Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o already in place, there is simply no roster room for Drogba unless one of the incumbents were to leave.

However, there still could be plenty of places Drogba could land in the Premier League, given his experience and knowledge of the league, which can’t be underestimated.

With the following being pure speculation, Tottenham could use a striker of Drogba’s caliber, with Roberto Soldado having an underwhelming first season and Emmanuel Adebayor a bit overwhelmed with his workload towards the end of the season.

Arsenal would be glad to have Drogba’s services to back up Olivier Giroud, with the squad starving for depth up front.  Everton could surely use him if Romelu Lukaku were to depart.

Even Liverpool could be a conceivable destination for the striker.  Despite the overwhelming success Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge found this season, next year’s journey in the Champions League could test their depth and the pair have little behind them up front.  Sturridge carried the team throughout Suarez’s early suspension, but could he do so again in a busier season?

The speculation is interesting and fun to imagine where Drogba could find himself playing, but with the striker bagging 15 goals in a Galatasaray shirt this past season, he clearly still has plenty to offer even at his advanced age.  He would likely no longer be the feature striker, but slid into an already established attack, he could return to being a deadly force in the English top flight.

If he were to find himself outside of England, it’s conceivable he would look for another challenge to add to his resume, and maybe his former club could open up a door at Atletico Madrid were Chelsea to successfully pry Diego Costa from the La Liga champions.

Finally, it wouldn’t be inconceivable to see him try out the United States, and there’s no question Major League Soccer would welcome him with open arms.

Where do you see Drogba ending up at the start of next season?

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City SC 2-1 Montreal Impact

Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC

The game in 100 words (or less): For weeks, it was a widely held belief that the Montreal Impact would snatch up the sixth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference with little or no resistance from their opposition. As they went six games unbeaten (four wins), all looked to be setting up perfect for the club that fired Frank Klopas midseason, but there was another team in the race for sixth that kept winning themselves: Orlando City SC. On Saturday night, Montreal and Orlando City faced off at the Citrus, with the expansion Lions claiming their fourth-straight victory with a 2-1 triumph. Montreal now holds a one-point lead on Orlando in the race for sixth, and have two games in hand, but it’s no longer a foregone conclusion L’Impact will qualify for the playoffs no resistance whatsoever.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

33′ — Bush’s mistake gifts Larin the opening goal — Larin did what your taught to do as a striker — “put it on frame, test the goalkeeper” — but in no universe does a shot so feeble have any business finding the back of the net. Evan Bush has been great this year. Hopefully (for Montreal’s sake), this howler doesn’t turn into the yips with the playoffs looming.

43′ — Hall’s “mistake” gifts Oduro an equalizer — Dominic Oduro equalized in the 43rd minute, when he took the ball out of the hands of Tally Hall and smashed it into the back of the net, but the goal should have been disallowed due to Hall having full control of the ball.

80′ — Hines hits the winner for Orlando — Seb Hines put the ball back into the mixer and just so happened to find the back of the net in the 80th minute. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

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Man of the match: Seb Hines

Goalscorers: Larin (33′), Oduro (43′), Hines (80′)

MLS Snapshot: NY Red Bulls 2-1 Columbus Crew SC

Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls
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The game in 100 words (or less): Two weeks in a row Columbus Crew SC have had a chance to go top of the Eastern Conference with a victory, and two weeks in a row Crew SC have failed to take a single point from massively important fixtures. Their latest defeat, a 2-1 humbling at the hands of the East-leading New York Red Bulls, started so well for Gregg Berhalter’s side, but was undone by a pair of costly, comedic defensive errors that allowed Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips (15th of the season) to erase an early deficit (Justin Meram) and win all three points. The result not only keeps the Red Bulls top of the East, but gives them a three- and four-point cushion with three and two games in hand on their nearest competitors., D.C. United and New England Revoltion respectively. For Crew SC, they’re four points back of the Red Bulls in fourth place, one point ahead of fifth-place Toronto FC, who have a game in hand.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Meram pokes it past Robles for an early lead — Meram “earned” his goal all the way back in midfield, when the Iraqi international’s mazy run took a routine turnover inside Crew SC’s defensive half and turned it into a dangerous counter-attacking opportunity. Harrison Afful overlapped and provided the cross for Meram to send home.

12′ — Sam capitalizes on multiple mistakes to equalize — Crew SC pass the ball out of the back. They don’t boot it forward to clear. It’s just what they do. Sometimes, that’ll bite you. When your goalkeeper and right back both have blunders clearing the ball 10 seconds apart, you probably deserve to concede an ugly, scrappy goal.

21′ — Wright-Phillips capitalizes on more defensive gaffes — See the above description for Red Bulls goal no. 1.

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Man of the match: Damien Perrinelle

Goalscorers: Meram (9′), Sam (12′), Wright-Phillips (21′)