• Premier League

Chelsea need Drogba, says Mourinho

ESPN staff
July 28, 2014
Jose Mourinho claims Didier Drogba's absence had been like a "short holiday" © PA Photos

Jose Mourinho insists Chelsea "need" a player of Didier Drogba's mental stature if they are to challenge for the Premier League title this season.

Following his decision to rejoin the club on a one-year deal, Drogba has linked up with Mourinho's side on their pre-season tour in Ljubljana. Mourinho, though, claimed it was like the striker had never been away.

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

"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 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 my squad with different qualities, not just as football players but also in terms of personalities. I like to have players with different personalities. So as a player and person, Didier is somebody we need to be strong."

Drogba, one of Chelsea's most loved players, faces competition up front in the form of new signing Diego Costa, who scored his first goal for the club in their 2-1 victory against NK Olimpija Ljubljana, assisted by fellow newcomer Cesc Fabregas.

However, Mourinho warned that Costa, who won La Liga with Atletico Madrid last season, still has much to learn if he is to impress in the Premier League.

Mourinho said: "Obviously it's nice for a striker to score in his first game. It's nice, no more than that. For Cesc, it's also important to understand the team, which he is doing step by step.

"It's still important for us to have all our players back. We don't have [Andre] Schurrle, Oscar, Willian or [Eden] Hazard and they are the four players we build the game around. At the same time they need a holiday, but the players who are here on this training camp are working very hard."

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