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Why Nicolas Jackson chose Chelsea move amid Drogba, Anelka & Ba admissions



New signing Nicolas Jackson has laid out his motivations for his Chelsea move and revealed which former Blues strikers he idolised growing up.

Jackson, 22, swapped Spain for England following his €37 million move from Villarreal to Chelsea. He became Chelsea’s second signing of the summer after the arrival of Christopher Nkunku.

Speaking to the official Chelsea website, Jackson explained why he chose west London. He said: “I wanted to join a big team and Chelsea is one of the best teams in the world, plus I’ve watched them since I was young. When Chelsea came there was no question in my mind. I always had this kind of team in my mind.”

The Senegalese striker was one of European football’s breakout stars last season scoring 13 goals in 38 games in all competitions for Villarreal in 2022/23, picking up La Liga’s player of the month in May along the way.

And having resided in Senegal for the majority of his adolescence, Chelsea’s new striker spoke of his adoration for another former Blues and African great.

“I remember the Champions League final in 2012 and especially when Drogba scored that header right at the end,” said Jackson. “I watched those players for Chelsea when I was growing up so I decided to follow in their footsteps. Hopefully that’s what continues to happen now I’m here.”

Drogba played for Chelsea between 2004 and 2012 before returning for Chelsea’s title winning campaign in the 2014/15 season. The Ivorian picked up 16 honours during his time at Chelsea including the club’s first Champions League trophy.

The powerful striker also scored 164 goals for Chelsea, making him the fourth highest goal scorer in the club’s illustrious history.

Jackson also spoke of his great respect for both Nicolas Anelka and his fellow countryman Demba Ba, two former Chelsea cult heroes.

“I watched Demba Ba… Nicolas Anelka was good too, big players.”

Anelka joined Chelsea from Bolton in 2008 winning a plethora of individual and team awards, including the Premier League golden boot in the 2008/09 season, whereas Ba is most famed for his crucial goals against Manchester United, PSG and most notably Liverpool in Chelsea’s famous 2-0 win at Anfield in 2014.

The Chelsea hierarchy and fans alike, will be praying Jackson can follow in a similar vein to these previous players having seen a dismal campaign in which the Blues saw an inadequate 12th placed finish, scoring just 38 Premier League goals.