By: Marco D'Onofrio
The only gift that the Montreal Impact and their fans want for Christmas this year is their star striker back in 2016. On Wednesday, the Impact tweeted out some alarming messages to their fans about Didier Drogba's status with the team, including one that read "But our objective is to have him back for another season, as agreed in his contract. This situation is out of our control".
In particularly, the last sentence is very concerning considering that the situation should indeed be in Montreal's control. Drogba is a player under contract with the club, and is not a free agent that Chelsea can just snatch up.
The tweets are also completely contradict any previous message sent out by Montreal, that ensured fans Drogba would be a member of the team next season and that he wouldn't even be sent out on loan during the winter months. That seems to have all changed.
It is clear that Drogba wants a return to Chelsea to try and help his former club climb back up the Premier League table. But Montreal may need him even more.
In 2014, the Impact finished with the least amount of points in all of Major League Soccer. While the club had definitely improved before Drogba had arrived, his 11 goals and one assist in 11 games certainly helped the club reach another level. They not only qualified for the postseason and earned the right to host the first round knockout match; they also obliterated their biggest rivals, Toronto FC, in the process.
Drogba brought the enthusiasm and belief back to Stade Saputo, and it looked like he loved every minute of it.
Dancing with academy players, interacting with fans, and scoring at a blistering rate, Drogba seemed like he was living the North American dream.
Fans of the Impact aren't quite sure what to think at the moment, and it's hard to blame them. The big Ivorian fully embraced the city during his brief time with the club, and helped them win their first ever playoff match.
However, it also looks as if he is trying to weasel out of a contract that still has a year left on it.
The club's public relations team is clearly worried, and it is easy to see why. The biggest star to ever play for the team is on the verge of walking out after terrifying MLS defences for the better part of two months.
The worst part of all though, is the fact he is doing so at the first chance he got. He professed his commitment to the Impact when there didn't seem to be many other intriguing options, but the second that Chelsea came beckoning, the 37-year-old hopped on the first plane back to London.
It remains to be seen whether the striker will end up at Stamford Bridge for a third stint, and/or if he'll be back playing his trade in Montreal next year, but regardless of the outcome the whole fiasco is not a good look for the team or the league.