By 90Min
July 02, 2018

Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba believes that his former teammate Romelu Lukaku has the perfect attitude to become one of European football's best players, insisting that the Belgium international's 'perfectionist' mentality is one of his biggest assets.

The two forwards were briefly together in west London following Lukaku's £13.5m arrival from Belgian giants RSC Anderlecht, where Drogba admits he acted somewhat as a mentor for the youngster.

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"The first time I spoke to Romelu, he was a young boy and still at Anderlecht," Drogba wrote in his column for the BBC. "A few years later, the boy was with us, sitting next to me in the Chelsea dressing room.

"I wanted to pass on to him my advice and experience of the club - that is why he was there.

"I always challenged him and told him that he needed to get leaner and he would be a different player - faster, and more agile at moving and turning.

"He has done that. When I look at the player he is now and the one he was seven years ago, there is a big difference. If you go through the different parts of his game, there is quality everywhere."

The former Ivory Coast international would leave the club in favour of a move to Shanghai Greenland Shenhua just 12 months after Lukaku's arrival at Stamford Bridge, but Drogba reveals that the two have kept in contact throughout the last six years.

He adds that Lukaku's five-year spell at West Brom and Everton has matured him both as a player and a human being, helping the 25-year-old adapt to life so quickly at Manchester United.

"It did not work out for Romelu at Chelsea but we have stayed in touch all this time, and we still speak a lot," he continues. "I'm pleased that he says I was able to help him.

"I also know United manager Jose Mourinho well, of course, from our time at Chelsea and I can see why he got the best out of Romelu at Old Trafford.

"I think Jose understood when he signed him for United last year that the boy has become a man. He was mature and ready for a challenge like playing for a club like United."

Drogba also claimed that following Belgium's recent win over Panama, where Lukaku scored two goals for the Red Devils, he was eager to take feedback on his performance so that he could improve even more.

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"There is an example of how much he wants to learn. When you hear that, you can tell he is going to reach the top. He is not there yet, but he is almost there."

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