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The Ghana midfielder has wished the Ivorian duo good luck following their departure from Stamford Bridge and is looking forward to taking in a full pre-season without injury

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien says that he will miss Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou next season.

The Ivorian duo left Stamford Bridge following the expiry of their contracts this summer and have joined Shanghai Shenhua and Lille respectively.

But Essien says he will keep in touch with the pair and described their final game - the Champions League final victory against Bayern Munich - as the perfect send-off.
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"I will miss them but that is the game, it is part of our job and we have to deal with it," Essien told Chelsea's official website. "I wish them the very best of luck and we still keep in touch.

"It was a very good way for them to say goodbye to the club, playing the Champions League final because we have been looking for that trophy for a long time."

The 29-year-old missed a large part of last campaign after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament and says he is looking forward to featuring in pre-season training this year.

"It is hard during the season if you miss pre-season and so it is good to start and hopefully finish the whole pre-season," he explained.

"So I am looking forward to that and we will see what happens. So far so good and I am looking forward to the season.

"My summer was relaxing, nothing too busy, I was in France and Ghana."

The former Lyon man has recently returned from opening a playground in the Ghanaian village in which he grew up and expressed his delight at being able to give something back to his community.

"It was good to open the playground for the schoolkids," he added.

"It is a new thing there and there is not a lot in the village. It has small things for the kids to play with like little castles and the opening went really well, the kids were happy."

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