If Alvaro Morata was in need of a little inspiration during his early days at Chelsea, he was in luck on Wednesday with club legend Didier Drogba in town.
Morata is under pressure to impress at Chelsea following his £58million transfer from Real Madrid, and the Spanish striker has not been helped with compatriot Diego Costa going AWOL amid a dispute with the Premier League champions.
But Morata was all smiles on Wednesday as he and a number of his Chelsea team-mates took to Twitter to welcome Drogba back to the Blues’ Cobham training ground.
Morata posted two past-and-present pictures of himself with the former Chelsea striker, writing: “With a @ChelseaFC LEGEND!!”
— Álvaro Morata (@AlvaroMorata) August 23, 2017
Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta both described Drogba in the same glowing terms, with the latter also offering a more regal tribute of “the KING”.
— Antonio Rüdiger (@ToniRuediger) August 23, 2017
— César Azpilicueta (@CesarAzpi) August 23, 2017
Drogba has certainy earned the praise, scoring 164 goals in total for the Blues during two spells at Stamford Bridge.
The Ivory Coast icon won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and the Champions League during a trophy-laden career in west London.
More Breaking News
Chelsea should make ‘baby’ Diego Costa ‘rot’ in reserves instead of allowing Atletico Madrid move
Chelsea should block Diego Costa from re-joining Atletico Madrid and force him to train in the reserves when he returns from his exile in Brazil. The 28-year-old has failed to return to training and remains in the country of his birth hoping to secure a return to Atletico after being made surplus to requirements by Antonio Conte.
The Spain international was been informed by Conte over text message that he was no longer wanted at Stamford Bridge, despite finishing last season as the club’s top scorer with 20 goals as the Blues won the Premier League title. Costa has demanded he be allowed to leave for Atletico, the only club he will consider joining, and has remained in Brazil in an effort to force through a move.
Reports from AS over the weekend have suggested Atletico have reached an agreement with Chelsea to sign Costa for an initial €45m (£41.1m, $52.9m) plus €10m in add-ons, though the La Liga club will be unable to complete the deal until January 2018 having been placed under a transfer embargo.
But Burley, who represented Chelsea between 1989 and 1997, is fuming over the conduct of Costa and wants the west London club to take strong action against the player who they have already fined for missing training. The Scot is demanding that Costa be denied the chance to join Atletico for a third time and be forced to train with the reserves for the foreseeable future.
“I haven’t got a problem with footballers who want to leave clubs because it happens” he told ESPN. “You either get what you want, or you don’t get what you want. I have as issue with a player who is not even at the club, demanding he wants to move from the club and asking Chelsea to take less money so he can make that move.
“If he did come back, I would put him in the reserves and I wouldn’t play him and sell him to Atletico Madrid or anyone else. I’d make a point. Chelsea can eat it, they’ve paid managers off before for millions. It’s not illegal [to make him train with the reserves] because it’s part of your contract.
“You are still contractually bound to come to training and be professional, that is part of it. The bottom line is that if he was at the training ground and he was training every day and he wanted to move, I would have no issue with that. But I’ve got a problem with players trying to force a move when they’re not even at the club or in the country and they’re acting like a baby and thinking they can force the club’s hand.
“Chelsea, like a lot of other clubs around the world, are a lot bigger than these individuals and they should start making an example of them. Chelsea should dig their heels in until they get what they want and if that means him sitting and rotting in the reserves for a year, with the World Cup coming up, then it is his own fault.”