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Ranking Chelsea’s Greatest African Premier League winners

As Chelsea and Victor Moses edge closer to the Premier League, we profile the top five African talents who have already clinched the title with the Londoners.

5. Salomon Kalou:

While typically limited to a substitute role at Stamford Bridge, Kalou excelled during a trophy-laden six seasons with the Pensioners and is fondly remembered for his decisive contributions under a succession of coaches.

He was part of the Champions League-winning side of 2012 — starting the final on the right flank — and was part of four FA Cup-winning sides.

The Ivorian forward won his sole Premier League title in 2010, although his biggest contribution came the season afterwards, when he averaged better than a goal every 180 minutes.

4. Geremi Njitap:

Perhaps Geremi was never a genuine star man in any of the great teams he played for, but there aren’t too many players who can claim to have been a key figure in as many outstanding sides as the 38-year-old.

He may not have been a Galactico, but he still won two Champions League titles and the Spanish title during his time with Real Madrid, while he was part of Cameroon’s triple triumph of Nations Cups and Olympic gold at the turn of the century.

At Chelsea, he perhaps didn’t build on the influence of his first season, but he was nonetheless rated highly by Jose Mourinho following the Portuguese coach’s arrival and ultimately played his part as the club ended their half-century wait for the title in 2005.

He followed that up with another Premier League crown in 2006 before departing for Newcastle United a year later.

3. John Obi Mikel:

Only one African player has featured more for Chelsea than Mikel, who made a mammoth 372 outings between 2006 and 2017. Indeed, no one else from the continent has ever been on the club’s books for longer.
Perhaps he never truly realised the potential of his youth, when he mesmerised the watching world at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, but Mikel was still a figure in several successful Chelsea sides, and played his part in the Champions League success of 2012 and the Europa League triumph a year later.

When he left for China and Tianjin TEDA earlier this year, he departed as a two-time Premier League champion and a four-time FA Cup winner...not bad for a player who was occasionally maligned for his underrated contribution.

2. Michael Essien

Overcame a mixed start to life at Chelsea, when his £24.4 million transfer fee raised some eyebrows and his overzealous tackling provoked the ire of opposition fans, to become a bona fide great at Stamford Bridge.
He was a two-time Premier League champion with the Blues and also lifted the FA Cup a whopping four times, making him one of the most decorated Ghanaians in the game.

Ultimately, injuries limited the Bison’s contribution and it’s tantalising to imagine what he could have become had it not been for significant spells on the sidelines.

Nonetheless, Essien clinched the Champions League in 2012 — albeit as an unused substitute — and it was a fitting honour for such an explosive talent.

1. Didier Drogba:

Once voted Chelsea’s greatest-ever player, Drogba is the natural choice to top this list following his magnificent achievements during two stints at the Stamford Bridge.
He bagged 136 goals in 381 appearances for the Pensioners, including a remarkable 29 in the 2009-10 season.

The Phoenix Rising hitman won four Premier League titles and four FA Cups in West London, although his finest achievement with the Blues is surely his contribution to their Champions League success in 2012.

When the chips were down against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena, Drogba not only scored a late equaliser to take the tie to extra time, but followed that up with the decisive penalty in the shootout as Roberto Di Matteo’s team became the first London side to win the European Cup.

Mutoni Jolie

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