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Saputo ‘can’t answer’ if Drogba will play full season for Impact

Photo by Eric Bolte/USA TODAY Sports
Photo by Eric Bolte/USA TODAY Sports

Didier Drogba is coming back to the Montreal Impact, but the length of his return remains a bit of a mystery.

Drogba confirmed over the weekend that he would rejoin the club this season after scoring 11 goals in 11 regular season gams in his debut MLS campaign. The announcement came after several weeks of rumors that the 38-year-old forward was set retire to join English Premier League side Chelsea as a coach.

Impact owner Joey Saputo told reporters Monday that he spoke to Drogba “several times” throughout the ordeal to discuss his future. Those talks were frequently positive, according to Saputo, but he could not confirm that Drogba would be with the club throughout the entire 2016 campaign.

“I can’t answer that question,” Saputo said at the Impact’s first day of training when asked if Drogba would complete the season. “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.”

Drogba will not be joining the Impact until Feb. 15, as the Ivorian is set to work out with a personal trainer in Qatar. Saputo said he told Drogba to “do what you need to do” in an effort to get his body ready for the upcoming MLS season.

Nonetheless, Drogba’s days as an active player are numbered given his age and Chelsea’s interest. That is why Saputo and the Impact are already beginning to prepare for the post-Drogba era while embracing the victory that is having the forward on the books for one more season.

“I think it’s important for us to start planning the post-Didier era in Montreal,” Saputo said. “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.

“It’s going to be difficult. We caught lightning in a bottle with Didier, but it’s not one player that makes this organization.”

What do you think of Saputo’s comments? Expecting Drogba to stick around the for entire MLS season? What kind of numbers will he put up if he plays all year?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Montreal desperately need forwards before last season. One of the bright young forwards tore his ACL in an early game, that made the situation worse. Drogba was a savior for Montreal. Except for Oduro all the other forwards are young and unproven. Unless at least a couple players really step up, Drogba is essential to any success Montreal will have.

  2. Last season was a perfect storm that won’t be repeated. It would have been better for Impact to work out a deal with Chelsea – ie, release Drogba and establish relationship where 2/3 Chelsea development players are loaned to Montreal every season, play a friendly each Summer and help expand the Chelsea brand.

  3. one player doesn’t make a team, except in this case. Montreal don’t make the playoffs without him no how no way. probably not in 2016 either.

  4. Sounds a bit off to prepare for a post Didier era when the era itself was 11 games long.

    My guess is more drama over the summer as Chelsea sorts out its coaching ranks for next season.

    I’d cut my losses and move on. They didnt catch lightening in a bottle, there are a lot of players out there they could sign that could have a similar impact if they were willing to pay for it.

  5. ….so is he playing out the remaining portion of his contract in full and theyre unsure if he’ll re-sign or they’re saying Drogba may stop playing for Montreal before the completition of the contract?

    • He will be 38 years with lots of miles and every single MLS defender will be trying to show how tough they are going against him physically. If he didn’t have any injuries, I’d be shocked. Despite all this, he will probably still be able to dominate games like he did last season and outmuscle and outclass 90% of MLS defenders.


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