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Atsu aims to emulate Drogba and Essien after Chelsea move

YOUNG PROMISE: Christian Atsu celebrates while playing for Porto (PA)

PROMISING YOUNG African player Christian Atsu wants to reach the levels of what Didier Drogba and Michael Essien have achieved in the game following his move to Chelsea.

The 21-year-old Ghana international made the switch to west London from Porto for a reported fee of £3.5m and signed a five-year deal.

He has been immediately loaned out to Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem to gain more experience and prove he has what it takes to earn a place in Jose Mourinho’s team.

“When Chelsea came for me, I saw a good opportunity to work with a massive club and a great coach”, Atsu told BBC Sport.

The attacking player, who can play on either wing and also up front as a false number nine, said Chelsea’s strong association with African players, particularly Essien and Drogba convinced him to make the move to the Premier League team.

The ex-Porto star said: “I have a lot of respect for Essien because playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world is not easy.

“I know that I've a long way to go to get anywhere close to what he’s done.

“Hopefully, one day I'll be mentioned in the same breadth as Essien and Didier Drogba.”

Atsu, capped 16 times by Ghana, also acknowledged Chelsea were right to send him on loan before he could be considered making the cut at Stamford Bridge.

He added: “I know I have to prove myself at Vitesse first and I'm determined to do just that.

“I'm happy because as a player you always want to be playing to stay in good shape”.

Apart from Essien and Drogba, Chelsea have been home to another African legend - Liberian George Weah - and sealed the deal to bring another great striker from the continent in for this season in the shape of Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o.

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