Chelsea skipper John Terry says he hopes veteran striker Didier Drogba is handed a new deal to remain at Stamford Bridge next season.
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Drogba will become a free agent at the end of the season, and with Jose Mourinho believed to be looking at bolstering his attacking options for next season, it seems the Ivorian may be on his way out of the Premier League champions.
The 37-year-old has fallen down the pecking order behind Diego Costa and Loic Remy at Stamford Bridge, but Terry says his teammate deserved another season with the Blues.
“He’s been great because he’s had to be patient,” Terry is quoted as saying by The Mirror.
“Ideally he would have liked a bit more game-time. But Diego Costa hit the ground running, scoring a lot of goals.
“But Didier’s experience and the way he speaks before the games, after defeats when you’re down and you need an old head to help.
“At times we’ve been worried after defeats and he’s said that it happens and we’ll bounce back and be alright. When you hear that from someone like him, everyone takes it on board.
“Let’s hope he’s in the camp next season. He’s got a massive part to play on and off the field.
“He’s shown that on the field but off the field he really has got a massive part to play.”
Chelsea have been linked with the transfer of Liverpool attacker Rickie Lambert should Drogba depart the club.
Lambert has also struggled for minutes this season, but there’s no doubt he would fill the same role at Stamford Bridge due to Jose Mourinho’s embarrassment of riches in the forward third.
Drogba re-joined Chelsea in the summer after stints with Shanghai Shenhua and Galatasaray, but has faced limited playing opportunities.
20 of his 27 league appearances have come from the bench this season, with a return of just four goals.