Essien, Yaya Toure feature in combined Chelsea

Chelsea legend, Michael Essien

ol;lo;Goalkeeper

Pipping Yves Makabu-Ma-Kalambay to the No. 1 jersey in this team is Edouard Mendy, who has established himself as the finest African goalkeeper of his generation.

He’s excelled since arriving at Chelsea, and surely deserves consideration among the world’s best in his position today.

Defender

Celestine Babayaro was a Chelsea favourite for eight years and endeared himself to the fans with his athletic displays, as well as his eccentric somersault goal-celebration.

The Nigerian defender was voted one of the Blues’ best ever full-backs in a poll on Chelsea TV.

Defender

Unfairly ridiculed as a figure of fun at times, Toure – in truth – ought to be acknowledged as one of the most complete centre-backs to have played in the Premier League.

He won the title with both Arsenal, with whom he was an ‘Invincible’ in 2004, and Manchester City.

Defender

Perhaps the footballing world never saw the absolute best of Michael Essien’s talent, as injury steadily undermined his dynamism, aggression and offensive contribution.

Certainly, by the time he joined AC Milan in 2014, his best days were behind him, although in his prime, Essien was a remarkable physical specimen who ran the show for Chelsea.

The Denmark-based powerhouse won two Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League during his time in London.

Midfielder

Mohamed Salah hardly got ample opportunity at Chelsea, particularly considering what the forward has achieved since leaving Stamford Bridge.

Indeed, gametime was scarce in West London, but few could have foreseen Salah’s progress in recent seasons.

He only managed two in 13 for the Blues, but has since become a goal machine, club legend, and Premier League/Champions League winner with Liverpool.

Midfielder

John Obi Mikel was a fine servant for Chelsea, serving the Londoners for over a decade.

In his long and distinguished career at Stamford Bridge, he won every competition worth winning both in Europe and domestically.

He left the club for Tianjin TEDA after being deemed surplus to requirements by Conte, but is still remembered fondly in the blue half of West London.

Midfielder

Yaya Toure is one of the most decorated Africans to have graced the game in recent memory, having won everything from the Uefa Champions League to domestic titles in Spain and England, as well as continental honours with Ivory Coast.

He boasts a CV that speaks volumes of his talent and he is undoubtedly one of Manchester City’s best signings ever.

After initially being overlooked by Guardiola in the Premier League, he fought back to recapture a key role for the Citizens.

Toure was also an African champion in 2015, and, in 2020, finished second in the inaugural African Legends Cup of Nations.

Midfielder

One of only two African players to have won the Premier League title with two different clubs, Riyad Mahrez was a key figure in Leicester City’s miracle triumph of 2016, winning the PFA Player of the Year award in the process.

He eventually got his move away from the Foxes in 2018, signing for City and going on to win a hatful of honours in his maiden season at the club.

Admittedly, he didn’t always appear to have the faith of Pep Guardiola during that maiden campaign, but proved his class during the run to the Champions League final last season.

Striker

Didier Drogba has been voted Chelsea’s best-ever player by the fans, which, in itself, speaks volumes of the impact he made at the London outfit, particularly under Jose Mourinho.

Capable of the spectacular at any given moment, Drogba scored 136 goals in 381 appearances for the Blues and provided many a captivating display in the famous blue shirt.

He is a bona fide Blues legend and was the key figure in 2012 as the Pensioners became the first London club to win the Champions League.

Striker

Samuel Eto’o arrived at Stamford Bridge in the twilight of his career but still showed glimpses of his ability in his 12 months at the club.

He managed a memorable hat-trick in a 3-1 win over Manchester United, one of his better performances for the Blues.

Elsewhere, Eto’o won three Champions League titles, a host of domestic honours in Italy and Spain, and two Nations Cups.

Striker

Weah has done what most African players can only dream of: win the Ballon d’Or.

The three-time African Footballer of the Year, nicknamed King George, moved to Manchester City when he was 34 years old, after a loan spell at Chelsea.

The Liberian joined the Citizens towards the end of an illustrious career in world football, and was unable to produce the goods, leaving the club only three months after joining.

He made seven appearances for the Manchester club, scoring only one goal.