New Chelsea signing Papy Djilobodji has said he wants to continue the strong tradition of African players who have played at Stamford Bridge.
The Senegal international defender, who signed last month from Nantes for £2.7million and penned a four-year contract with the club, was immediately drafted into Chelsea’s 25-man Premier League squad, although he will miss out on the group stage of the Champions League, he could be added to the club’s UEFA squad list after Christmas.
The 26-year-old follows in the footsteps of the likes of Didier Drogba and Michael Essien and he is keen step into their shoes as a role model for African youngsters.
“I am really happy to be a Chelsea player. I have come here to learn and to go to higher places with the club, and to win trophies as well. I’m really happy and I want to show all my qualities and skills not just to the manager and the players, but also to the supporters,” he told Chelsea’s website.
“I am really happy about the club’s African history and it gives me a lot of pleasure to know so many great players have been at this club and have left something behind.
“Obviously I have just arrived but I want to do exactly what they’ve done. They’re role models and I want to emulate them.
“When you play at a club like this the whole of Africa is watching. I want to give it my all and create really good expectations for all my young African brothers.”
Blues legend Marcel Desailly, a former Nantes defender, had six years at the Bridge and Djilobodji admitted he has already taken some advice from the World Cup winner.
“He was a great role model. I actually had the opportunity to meet him at Nantes when he came to training with my coach and he gave me some advice, telling me that now I had made it this far I had to keep working hard.
“If I have the opportunity to see him again I will ask him questions and take whatever advice he gives and try and apply it on the field to help me move forward,” added Djilobodji.