Drogba return “unlikely”, so where could Montreal turn?

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Seemingly each report regarding Didier Drogba‘s future in Montreal makes it clearer that he doesn’t have one.

The Impact’s star striker looks set to rejoin Guus Hiddink at Chelsea, beginning a coaching career he’s oft-discussed in the press.

Ryan Tolmich of SBI Soccer reports that Drogba’s “unlikely” return has Montreal looking at other options. Given their success with veteran big names like Drogba — and even with the money spent, the move was a success — and Marco Di Vaio, who will Montreal target to join a strike corps of Dominic Oduro and Andres Romero?

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Montreal selected UCF forward Romario Williams with the third overall pick in the 2015 SuperDraft, and have Homegrown striker Anthony Jackson-Hamel, a Canadian U23 player. Cameron Porter is coming off an ACL tear.

That young crop could certainly use veteran leadership, so it’s easy to imagine Joey Saputo and Mauro Biello finding a big name striker to put butts in the seats and wisdom in his youth.

So let’s have some fun. Here are some exclusively-spitballed ideas that could come in January, or after the European season.

Hatem Ben Arfa, Nice — The mercurial Frenchman has the potential to be a Sebastian Giovinco light, tearing through defenses with dribbling wizardry and distance blasts. In Quebec, his signing would go over quite well.

Gabriel Agbonlahor, Aston Villa — “Gabby” isn’t even getting on the pitch for Remi Garde, to the tune of a lone Premier League minute since Nov. 2. The lifelong Villan still has goals in his boots — six last year — and the physical nature to deal with the brute physicality of MLS.

Tosaint Ricketts, Bulospor — The Canadian national team striker is plying his trade in Turkey’s second tier, and his production has not been solid. But a return to Canada would be a boon for his nation inside of World Cup qualifying and, while he wouldn’t be a top-notch option, he could help in several ways.

Alberto Gilardino, Palermo — Another name that seems out of nowhere, but the 33-year-old is just one season removed from back-to-back double-digit Serie A goal seasons (Bologna and Genoa).