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Shearer: Drogba did everything for Chelsea

18 Feb 2019

Premier League Champion highlights all-round skills of Ivorian as he picks his top three foreign forwards

When judging the best of the many brilliant forwards to have come from abroad to the Premier League, who better to ask than the competition's all-time top goalscorer, Alan Shearer?

The Premier League Champion gave us his top three foreign imports and explained why they made the grade.

Didier Drogba

Shearer knew when he first faced Drogba that the Ivorian had the makings of a formidable Premier League striker.

His Newcastle United side were playing Marseille in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup semi-finals and a 26-year-old Drogba scored both goals in a 2-0 aggregate victory for the French side.

"We had a very good centre-back in Jonathan Woodgate, who went on to play for Real Madrid, but Didier Drogba beat him up on both occasions, home and away," says Shearer. 

Drogba moved that summer to Chelsea, for whom he scored 104 PL goals across two spells, as well as winning four titles.

'Touch and technique'

Shearer was impressed by Drogba’s range of attributes.

"It was his build, strength, touch and technique," he says. "But his greatest strength was he was an all-round team player. He could do a bit of everything for the team.

“He could play as a target man and when Chelsea were in trouble, and that was plenty of times, they could hit that ball up to him and he’d hold it up.

"But when they wanted to play the nice, neat football, he was good at that as well.

“He could link up play, take a touch, turn, and then he could smash one in from 25 yards. He wasn’t just a box player.”

'All-round team player'

Shearer also said Drogba's all-round contributions were not limited to the attacking side of the game and what he did near to his own goal made him unique among PL strikers.

“Regarding what he did defensively, the others didn’t do that,” says Shearer.

"He came back for corners, he came back for free-kicks, so as an all-round team player, he offered so much to that team."

Also in this series

Part 2: Shearer: Henry is my dream strike partner
Part 3: Shearer: Lethal Aguero the best of all-time

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