Top 25 Chelsea players of the Premier League era - #3

Sports Mole's countdown of the top 25 Chelsea players in the Premier League era continues with number three - Didier Drogba.

Didier Drogba

Chelsea's Ivorian striker Didier Drogba celebrates scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 26, 2014© Getty Images

There were plenty of eyebrows raised when Jose Mourinho spent a club-record fee of £24m to bring Didier Drogba to Stamford Bridge in 2004, but eight years later he left having written his name permanently into the history books of Chelsea.

Drogba's goalscoring record did not exactly set the world alight during his early Chelsea years, managing just 16 across all competitions in each of his first two seasons, but he still helped the club to back-to-back Premier League titles in that time.

The former Ivory Coast international was perhaps most notable for turning up in the biggest games, though, becoming the first player to ever score in four separate FA Cup finals and also forcing extra time with a late equaliser in the 2012 Champions League final before going on to net the winning penalty in the shootout.

It looked as though that could be Drogba's last kick in a Chelsea shirt when he left that summer, but he returned for another season in 2014-15 to take his overall tally for the club up to 164 goals in 381 appearances, leaving him behind only Frank Lampard, Bobby Tambling and Kerry Dixon in the all-time goalscorers list.

Drogba won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and the Champions League during his nine-year Chelsea career, being named Chelsea's Player of the Year in 2010 and twice being included in the PFA Team of the Year - both after seasons where he had won the division's Golden Boot.

Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring against Tottenham Hotspur in the Europa League on March 10, 2016
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