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If Drogba leaves what will Chelsea do?

It appears likely that Didier Drogba is set to move to Shanghai Shenua. It is not quite clear whether the move is scheduled to take place during the January transfer window or in the summer of 2012 but it has become quite clear that Didier Drogba is set to move away from Stamford Bridge and Chelsea.

The player has been a revelation at Chelsea since arriving in London from Marseille. Signed for a fee around £25 million, the former African player of the year, and star of the Cote D’Ivoir team, has been a cornerstone of Chelsea’s success in the Roman Abramovich era. The striker prospered under Jose Mourinho’s tutelage and has won 3 English Premiership medals at Chelsea. The player was ignonimously sent off in the UEFA Champions League final of 2008 against Manchester United, after slapping Nemanja Vidic in the face. Didier Drogba , along with John Terry and Frank Lampard, can claim to have been one of the most important players in Chelsea’s modern history, and on a more general level can even claim to be the most successful African player in English Premiership history.

The player is currently in Africa, competing for his country in the African Cup of Nations. It is not known if he will return to Chelsea or travel directly to Shanghai in China. If he does leave, what will Chelsea do?

The team has struggled when Drogba has not been around. Fernando Torres has proven to be a bad signing, as things stand. Time might change things and Fernando Torres might yet turn things around but it has now been a year since he signed for Chelsea and he still seems as uncomfortable now as he did when he first joined. If Fernando Torres is not the answer, then who is?

Romelo Lukaku has barely featured, not yet considered worthy of a first team place, despite signing for a mammoth fee in the summer. Daniel Sturridge has shown himself to be a wonderful player and is definitely a part of Chelsea’ strongest line up, but his success might be attributed to the fact that he features on the left hand side of the attack and so he does not bear the weight of burden that comes with leading the attack from the centre. Were the young striker moved to the centre the pressure might be overwhelming and all his progress might be stalled.

So it appears likely that if Didier Drogba leaves then Chelsea will be in the transfer market, looking for a new striker. What options are there? Alexandre Pato? Neymar? Demba Ba? Robin Van Persie? Emmanuel Adebayor? Karim Benzema? Fernando Llorente? Carlos Tevez?