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Shanghai fans excited by Drogba signing

posted 20 Jun 2012, 04:05 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 20 Jun 2012, 04:06 ]

Chinese fans are excited by the news Didier Drogba has signed for Shanghai Shenhua, but temper expectations.

Football fans in China were excited by the news Didier Drogba has signed for Chinese Super League strugglers Shanghai Shenhua but some are not sure how big an effect he will have on the league.
Drogba ended weeks of speculation about his future by joining big-spending Shanghai Shenhua on Wednesday (June 20).

Drogba had been strongly linked with a move to the Far East when he announced last month he was leaving Chelsea after scoring the decisive penalty for the London club in their Champions League final shootout victory over Bayern Munich.

His signing is another coup for the reinvigorated Chinese Super League and Drogba will join former Chelsea team mate Nicolas Anelka in a powerful Shanghai forward line that is managed by former Argentina manager Sergio Batista.

"When Drogba and Anelka are both playing for Shanghai Shenhua, I am sure there will be a lot more interaction up front," Wang Zheguan, 28, said. "They played together at Chelsea, and since they are experienced players, they would definitely have good chemistry on the field."

However, Zheguan was sceptical about how the rest of the team will perform alongside Drogba and Anelka.

"Their performances should be relatively good but in terms of their interaction with the other players, it would still depend on future training and the coach's arrangements," he added.

His views were shared by another football, Wu Wei, who said: "I don't think just by signing Drogba, it would have an effect on lifting the standards of the Chinese league.

"Perhaps, the one effect it would have would be on the standards of Chinese defenders. They would probably learn something now that they have the opportunity to do battle with such world-class strikers. It is not possible to lift the overall standards of Chinese football just by signing one individual like Drogba."

The 34-year-old will join up with his new team mates in July, hoping to make an instant impact and help the side arrest a dismal start to the campaign which has left them sitting 12th in the 16-team league despite heavy investment.

No financial details of the two-and-a-half-year contract were revealed by Drogba or the club but widespread media reports said the Ivory Coast striker would receive in the region of $300,000 a week.

Drogba scored 157 times in 341 appearances for Chelsea following his move from Olympique Marseille in 2004, making him the club's fourth all-time leading scorer, while his 34 European goals are a record for the London club.