herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Mourinho hails return of Drogba 
to Chelsea

Didier Drogba. Photo: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire
Didier Drogba. Photo: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire

Jose Mourinho expects Didier Drogba to have a big impact this season.

The Ivory Coast international signed a one-year deal last week following the expiry of his Galatasaray contract, after originally enjoying an eight-year spell at Stamford Bridge between 2004 and 2012.

Drogba hit 157 goals in 341 appearances during his first stint and is a firm fans' favourite, having scored a late equaliser followed by the winning spot-kick as Chelsea won the Champions League in his last match.

The 36-year-old joined Chelsea's squad on Sunday as they defeated Olimpija 2-1 in a pre-season friendly, but did not play a role in the match and Mourinho is thrilled to be able to call upon Drogba again.

"First of all when he came, it looks like he never left the club," Mourinho told reporters. "It was so normal, nothing new at all because he knows everybody and everybody knows him.

"He was ever present even when he wasn't here. Chelsea belonged to him, even in the last two years when he was away playing in a Galatasaray and Shanghai (Shenhua) shirt.

"So it looks like he just went for a short holiday and came back, so everything is normal. But yes, I think we need him. We need him as a player for our squad to be the way I like. I like a squad with different qualities."

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