Ghanaian football legend Michael Essien has praised Ivorian football icon Didier Drogba for his instrumental role in reshaping perceptions about African players in the English Premier League (EPL).

Essien and Drogba, teammates at Chelsea for seven years, enjoyed immense success, clinching two Premier League titles and the prestigious UEFA Champions League trophy in 2012.

Reflecting on Drogba's influence, Essien highlighted the significance of his achievements in altering perceptions about African players in the EPL.

"Didier was there; he showed it a year before I came (to Chelsea), and I followed it up," Essien remarked.

According to Essien, Drogba's success demonstrated to football clubs that investing in African talent could yield positive results.

"I think he gave some trust to the rest of the clubs that they can spend the money and trust the process."

Essien, who joined Chelsea from Olympique Lyon in August 2005, played a pivotal role in the club's success during his time at Stamford Bridge, contributing to the narrative that African players could thrive in top European leagues.