Chelsea assistant Gianfranco Zola has defended the club’s handling of Callum Hudson-Odoi over the past few months. The England youth international was the subject of interest from German giants Bayern Munich during the winter transfer window but the deal never materialised with the Blues showing no interest in sanctioning his sale.
Thereafter, it had been anticipated that the youngster would receive regular gametime with the first team but this has not been the case with manager Maurizio Sarri preferring to go with the seniors who have regularly featured for the team since the beginning of the current campaign. Amidst this, there has been plenty of concern from the faithful regarding the youngster’s future but Zola has stressed that Hudson-Odoi does not have an easy route to the starting line-up, he said: “Sorry, but I disagree with this. He is always on the edge of the team. As soon as there is an opportunity he plays – sometimes from the beginning, sometimes he comes on.
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Cardiff City defender Sol Bamba has said that Didier Drogba played a role in shaping up his professional playing career. The 34-year-old shared the same dressing room with the former Chelsea star in the national setup and he has now spoken about the experience of playing with and against the Ivory Coast legend.
Speaking to reporters, Bamba hailed the qualities of the former Blues ace, who recently retired from the beautiful game, he said: “Didier Drogba was our captain and he was the best striker I ever came up against. What a player, strong with both feet, good in the air and on his day I quickly learned you cannot mark him. It was good experience trying, though!”
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Sky Sports pundit Steve Sidwell believes Chelsea need to pursue a new striker in the mould of Didier Drogba or Diego Costa, if they are to once more become a force in the Premier League. The Blues have failed to provide a strong challenge for the top-flight title over the past 18 months and during this period, the club have depended on the services of Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud without much success.
Speaking on The Debate, Sidwell highlighted that the club are desperately lacking a physical presence upfront who can regularly contribute to the scoresheet. He added that Giroud has the holding capabilities within himself but Sarri does not seem to favour the services of the former Arsenal man.
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Former Chelsea star Michael Essien believes Eden Hazard would find it hard to ignore the advances from Real Madrid, should they come calling for his services next year. The Belgium international has just 18 months remaining on his existing deal with the Blues and this has seemingly increased speculation regarding his future with a contract renewal far from happening.
Speaking to The Express, Essien said that Hazard is one of the best players in the world and looks fantastic while plying his trade for the Blues. However, the interest from Los Blancos could be hard to refuse for the former Lille graduate, considering they have been his dream club since his childhood days.
Essien said: “He’s been playing in the Premier League very well and looks fantastic at the moment. Hazard is one of the best players in the world. The interest of Real Madrid, I only hear from people in the media. But I mean when Real Madrid come calling… every player would love to play for them. He’s happy at Chelsea though and hopefully we can keep him.”
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Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has indicated that he has no plans of featuring in the Indian Super League as a player after recently calling time on his professional career. The Ivorian great decided to bow out of the playing field after 20 years in the game and he is now looking forward to a new phase of life.
Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, Drogba highlighted that he has no plans of playing in the Indian Super League but he would do his part to encourage Indian football, he said:“I think there are other ways to encourage Indian football but I am not going to come out of retirement and play again. Once you announce that you are done it’s good to try to stick to it. I have done and achieved everything in the last 20 years so I think it’s time for me to relax a bit.”
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Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata believes he has more to prove with Chelsea despite being among the goal over the past month. The Spain international started the season in a rather slow fashion where he missed a number of clear-cut chances but he has built up his confidence as the campaign has progressed.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Morata cited that he has room for improvement as a Chelsea player and he is keen on helping the team win matches more than only contributing goals, he said:”I think I can prove more. In the past it wasn’t easy for me, but this is a new season. I think it’s not important if you score 25 or 30 goals, it’s important you help the team to win.
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Former Chelsea forward Didier Drogba has congratulated John Terry after the defender announced his retirement from the game. The 37-year-old has been without a club over the last few months after leaving Aston Villa at the end of last season. He has been linked with several clubs – including Spartak Moscow – over a short-term contract. However, he has now decided to hang up his boots and instead look at other options in his life. The 37-year-old will be remembered as one of the greatest Premier League defenders around and his retirement news quickly brought about a lot of congratulatory messages from around the world.
Didier Drogba was one of the latest to acknowledge the brilliant career enjoyed by John Terry, who spent 18 years at Chelsea winning numerous honours. Terry was able to lift Champions League, Premier League, Europa League, and several other domestic honours during his time with the blues. He was hoping for a return back to the Premier League with Aston Villa but those hopes were dashed when the club failed to get promotion last season. Frank Lampard, Jamie Carragher, Michael Ballack, and several other famous names in world football came up with glowing tributes of the 37-year-old. Drogba even claimed that Terry is yet to pay him money owed from a bet.
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Liverpool legend-turned-pundit John Barnes believes Chelsea are overly reliant on Eden Hazard since the new Premier League season has begun. The Belgium international has started the campaign in a flourishing fashion with five goals from as many matches and this has propelled his side to the top of the standings on goal difference to Liverpool.
Despite this, Barnes believes Hazard’s form could be a warning sign for the Blues, given they could struggle when the goals dry up for the Belgian attacker, he said: “I think they are overly reliant on Hazard. I think if Hazard gets injured, they really are overly reliant on him. If he drops form and he doesn’t score, he’s not an out and out scorer. We have spoken and I told him he can score 40 goals. He has to improve some things, but he can do it.”
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Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley is hoping to emulate idol Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge by making an improvement on his goalscoring contribution. The England international joined the Blues from Everton in January but he managed just two league appearances through the 2017/18 season as he struggled with fitness issues following a serious hamstring injury.
However, with the new campaign, Barkley has been ever-present for the Blues in the starting lineup and he is now hoping to emulate Lampard by making a regular contribution onto the scoresheet, he said: “He’s someone [Lampard] to look at with the success he achieved for the club and for himself. I’ve played with Frank and I saw what he was like around England, and how much of a top professional he was.He was an idol of mine from when I was a young lad, watching Champions League games and seeing the goals he scored. If I could achieve half of what he did here, then that would be a success. I believe I can hit the 20 goals a season mark.”
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Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has said that he is not surprised by Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to head to Juventus this summer. The Portugal international has linked up with the Bianconeri following nine successful seasons with Real Madrid and Drogba feels the attacker has made the good choice at the current phase of his career.
Speaking to Football Italia, Drogba said: “I am not remotely surprised [by Ronaldo transfer]. I find it as a perfect, exciting and such a good choice that I was about to do it, too. I thought I had already joined a Serie A club and we were down to the details, but then everything evaporated. Don’t ask me the club, there’s no point opening that up now. In any case, it was more than just an offer and I was very interested, so I perfectly understand Ronaldo’s desire to play in Serie A.”
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