Drogba's Retirement this Summer is Vital for Chelsea

Didier Drogba has gained legendary status at Chelsea Football Club. He has been one of the most impactful players to put on the blue ...

Didier Drogba has gained legendary status at Chelsea Football Club. He has been one of the most impactful players to put on the blue shirt. The Ivorian represents more than just a Lethal scorer, but an icon. The striker is an exemplary player because of his character.

Drogba in his prime, was a ruthless attacker, scoring goals for fun. He was ever present in the moments that we needed him most, often putting the team on his shoulders and carrying them past the finish line. Imagine how different of a storyline the Champions League Final in 2012 would be, had Torres started over the Ivorian.

However, as Drogba ages, he's not the same player that he once was. No one expected him to be. In fact, he has outperformed expectations this season, scoring some major goals for the Blues in place of Costa. Drogba has been a leader in the locker room, on the bench, and during his limited time on the pitch.

The end of this season should spell the end of the legendary career of Didier Drogba. Especially if the Blues hold on to first place and win the Premier League. What a better way to retire?

Reaching 37 years of age and still playing for a top club like Chelsea is not a feat that many players accomplish. However, it's not realistic to expect anything else from the Ivorian. He has literally given everything to the club and it's now Chelsea's turn to give back. There are several reasons while I feel that it is Drogba's time.

First and foremost, he takes up a roster spot from a potential young striker such as Patrick Bamford or Dominic Solanke. At this stage in both of their careers, they should be able to contribute to the squad, while at the same time gain imperative experience for their careers. Both are extremely talented, and currently Drogba as third striker, stands in the way of their development.

Secondly, Drogba retiring frees up a foreign player roster spot. Should the Ivorian retire, which I fully expect him to, he will most likely be replaced with either of the two Englishmen mentioned above. This would allow Chelsea to add a foreign talent elsewhere in the first team. These roster spots are vital when you're a club like Chelsea. Drogba retiring frees up a spot and that's huge for the Blues.

Another reason for the 37-year old to hang up his boots, is his potential ability as a coach. I am a firm believer in Drogba's ability, to at one point, be a brilliant manager. He's played for some of the best manager around, namely Mourinho, and has learned a lot from them. The Ivorian has already had a major impact on some of the younger players like Zouma. His abilities to impact Chelsea's youth will be further increased if he is relived of his duties as a player. He can focus on improving the team, acting as a mentor for Chelsea's abundance of youth talent. This potential role for Drogba doubles in importance for the Blues, should they replace the Ivorian with a young striker like Bamford or Solanke.

Overall, there is no doubting everything that the 37-year old has done for Chelsea. He will forever be immortal to the dedicated fans and supporters of the Blues. However, the priority for this club is to win matches. There comes a time in every great player's career, when they can best contribute to a winning effort from the sidelines, rather than on the pitch. And while it's hard to come to terms with, next season is Drogba's time.

For more on Tyler Strauss, follow him on Twitter: @tyler_strauss_

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