Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has highlighted the importance of striker Didier Drogba following his recent involvement in the first team.
The 36-year-old was a surprise addition this summer for the Blues this summer as boss Mourinho opted to bring him back to Stamford Bridge two years after the striker left for China.
Mourinho said on bringing him back that it was a footballing decision rather than a personal one, and his recent involvement proves that stance correct.
Drogba found the net twice in the past week, firing in the opener as the Blues drew 1-1 with Manchester United before scoring in the 2-1 League Cup victory over Shrewsbury Town.
His contribution in the absence of top scorer Diego Costa and fellow summer signing Loic Remy has been more than expected, and Mourinho was quick to acknowledge his striker’s efforts.
‘We decided all together, the owner, the board, me, him, to bring Didier Drogba back,” he is quoted as saying by the official Chelsea website.
“For such a legend in this club it is a difficult decision to take, and we took it together, we believing in him and he believing in himself and thinking he still has conditions to be important, which he always was before.
“To be important at the age of 36 doesn’t mean playing 90 minutes of 50 matches. To be important you need to be there when the team needs you to be there, and he was fantastic for us in the last week when we were really in trouble with no Diego Costa and no Loic Remy.”
“And he did something that no player should do, which was to play 90 minutes of football twice with 48 hours difference, which he managed to do in an absolutely fantastic way.
The retired Ivory Coast international played for eight seasons at Stamford Bridge during his first spell at the club, scoring 100 Premier League goals in 226 games.
In November 2012, Drogba was named Chelsea's greatest ever player in a poll of 20,000 fans conducted by Chelsea Magazine.