Official: Chelsea legend Didier Drogba announced as Montreal Impact Designated Player

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It’s finally officially official: Didier Drogba is the Montreal Impact’s newest Designated Player signing.

The Impact’s signing of the Ivory Coast and Chelsea legend was officially announced on Monday after the Major League Soccer side from Canada agreed a compensation package with the Chicago Fire to acquire the 37-year-old striker’s MLS rights.

[ MORE: Monday’s transfer rumor roundup ]

In true MLS fashion, Montreal’s acquisition of Drogba didn’t go down without a little bit of drama played out in a public forum. As part of their own Drogba-related announcement on Monday, the Fire announced they had acquired former Toronto FC striker Gilberto. Said announcement featured this interesting tidbit:

Transaction: Chicago Fire (MLS) sign F Didier Drogba and trade him to the Montreal Impact (MLS) in exchange for general and targeted allocation money

Didier Drogba was (extraordinarily briefly) a member of the Chicago Fire. Someone make sure that makes it onto his Wikipedia page, please. His contract, as reported by ESPN FC’s Jeffrey Carlisle, is an 18-month deal worth “in excess of $3 million per year.”

On Sunday, I noted that Drogba was not only a massive coup for the only club residing within a French-speaking province, but a monster addition to what’s been a pretty good team in league play over the last two months.

[ MORE: Week 21 MLS Team of the Week | Player of the Week ]

Here’s a few reasons why Drogba is a stellar signing that will, in this writer’s opinion, put the Impact over the hump:

1. He’s still a pretty good striker by MLS standard, and he is the perfect partner to Jack McInerney (who’s still just 22 years old)

2. A line-leading forward who finishes chances at a ridiculous rate is what the Impact have been sorely missing — the midfield is a top-five five-man unit among MLS’s 20 teams, and the defense isn’t so bad either, now that Laurent Ciman looks like the best center back in the league

3. The Eastern Conference is extraordinarily average from teams 4 through 10 — D.C. United, Toronto FC and Columbus Crew SC look the cream of the crop, and then who?

4. The Impact have five, four, one, one and five games in hand on the five teams currently ahead of them in the East, respectively — five points separate them, in sixth, from the New York Red Bulls, in third