Montreal Impact owner says club must prepare for “post-Didier era”

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Didier Drogba will return to Montreal next season, but maybe not for long.

Impact owner Joey Saputo said the club must prepare for the “post-Didier era” as he is unsure how long Drogba will stay with the Major League Soccer club.

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After weeks of speculation as to whether Drogba would play for Montreal or rejoin Chelsea as a staff member under Guus Hiddink, the Impact confirmed on Sunday that the striker would return to play in MLS.

Speaking during the team’s preseason training, Saputo said he had been in contact with Chelsea to discuss Drogba’s future, but that in the end the player chose to honor his contract. However, when asked about if Drogba would play the entire season with Montreal, Saputo had no answer.

I can’t answer that question. The expectation is that he’s going to continue to be a pro.

I don’t have a feeling on whether he’s not going to play, whether he’s coming back because he has to come back.

I think it’s important for us to start planning the post-Didier era in Montreal. He’s got one more year on his contract and I think it’s important to start putting a team together and start looking at who will replace the player in the future.

Saputo’s comments make it seem as if Drogba was itching at the chance to go back to Chelsea, but respected Montreal and chose to play out his contract.

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Drogba was the Impact’s leading scorer last season, despite the fact that he played in just a third of the matches. If he can keep up his scoring pace from 2015, Montreal will once again be a contender in the East, as the 37-year-old looks to be in the last season of his career.