Drogba 'still has killer instinct'

LONDON - Veteran striker Didier Drogba will still strike fear into defenders when he begins his second spell at Chelsea, manager Jose Mourinho said yesterday."

The killer instinct is still there," Mourinho, in an interview with Sky Sports, said of the 36-year-old Ivorian who signed a 12-month contract last month after spells in China and at Turkish club Galatasaray since leaving Stamford Bridge following the Champion League final victory in 2012.

Drogba will give Mourinho a tried and tested formula in attack, where he will be vying for a place with Spanish duo Fernando Torres and new signing Diego Costa.

"He still has the technique to score goals and the physical strength and presence is still the same," Mourinho, who signed Drogba from Marseilles in 2004, said.

"Mentally he is the same. Every training exercise, his desire to compete and to win is always there.

"He will be an important player for us."

Almost unstoppable at times with his pace, power and strength, Drogba wrote his name into Chelsea folklore during his first spell at the club, scoring 157 goals and helping the club to the Premier League title in 2005, 2006 and 2010.

He also lifted the FA Cup four times and the League Cup twice.

Mourinho insists former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres will remain at Chelsea following Romelu Lukaku's Everton move.

Torres swapped Anfield for Stamford Bridge in 2011 for a fee of £50m, but has been linked with a return to Atletico Madrid after failing to live up to his price tag.

The Spain international has managed just 20 Premier League goals in his 110 outings for the Blues, despite reaching 65 in 102 for the Reds.

But Mourinho admits he has every intention of keeping the 30-year-old striker after the departures of Lukaku, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o this summer.

The Portuguese tactician said: "Three strikers is fundamental in the squad and we have three, Nando is one of them.

"We have a good squad, the perfect squad would be with these 18 players, not 17."

Chelsea signed Diego Costa from Atletico for £32m and is expected to be the first choice forward this season. – Agencies

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