Will we see Didier Drogba plying his trade in the EFL Championship next season? Or is it just banter?

Three or so months ago, legendary former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba announced that he intended to finally hang up his boots next season, thereby bringing to an end an illustrious career littered with silverware and auspicious memories. Having turned 40 in March, the Phoenix Rising star forward, captain and part-owner told the press that even though he was fully enjoying being on the pitch, it was “time now” to take a deserved rest from the beautiful game.

“It’s really a pleasure for me to play,” the Ivorian told TelefootI started late at the top level. I really enjoy playing.

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“I like my role of owner-player a lot. I’m surrounded by a lot of youngsters, and I like passing my know-how on to them. But this season is the last. I’m 40, it’s time now.”

The Champions League winner went on to discuss a non-playing football career, implying that he would welcome a role at Marseille, the club where his incredible soccer journey began in earnest.

“We’ll have to see what is offered. I’m always ready to help,” he said. “In any case, Marseille are showing good things this year. Rudi Garcia’s project is taking shape, they’re building a team with young players. It’s excellent to stay in the top three with a team like that. As a fan, I have a lot of faith in them.”

‘Joining Lampard at Derby’

Frank Lampard’s appointment as manager of Championship side Derby County, however, may have put new ideas into Drogba’s head.

Following the announcement on May 31, the Ivorian took to Instagram to congratulate Lampard while adding that he might just return to English shores to support his long-time buddy.

“I might come play for few months just to support my man,” wrote the 40-year-old. “All the very best my man, Frank Lampard!”

It may have been just banter – indeed it most likely was – but it is no doubt an outcome no Chelsea fan would say no to.

Perhaps the two would then be able to convince John Terry, who left Aston Villa recently, to join Derby. What a holy reunion that would be!