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The 24-year-old says the Ivory Coast star's exit was like an "electric shock", and believes that while his fellow Spaniard is a different player he is still one of the best around

Juan Mata says that Chelsea forward Fernando Torres is finding it hard to fill the void left by Didier Drogba, but still thinks that he is one of the world's best strikers.

The Ivorian, who netted the winning penalty against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final last season, moved to Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua in the summer leaving the ex-Liverpool man as the Blues' main striker.

Mata has revealed that Drogba's departure hit the players hard, and has forced them to change their style of play for the "different" Torres.

“Drogba’s departure was like an electric shock for us," the 24-year-old told French magazine So Foot. "He was a warrior.

“We’ve had to learn to cope without him because for many long years he was Chelsea’s lightning conductor.

“With Drogba we were conditioned to play in a certain way. You gave him the ball and you knew that he would at least force the opponent into a foul.

“In a way we had a tendency to rely on him too much but it was a natural mechanism. All the great players like getting the ball, Didier even more so.

“With Fernando it’s different. His runs aren’t the same. He’s not a funnel for our play like Drogba could be. He doesn’t like the holding-it-up role. He prefers finding space and facing the goal.”
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Signed from Liverpool for £50 million, on the January transfer deadline day in 2011, Torres is the west London outfit's most expensive player.

His Spain team-mate suggested that the huge pressure that came with the record transfer could have contributed to Torres' downfall, while insisting he is still among the finest attackers on the globe.

He added: “When someone pays that much for you and you become the most expensive player in the Premier League, you are eager to please. Too eager, maybe.

“Especially Fernando, because he’s a very humble guy who knows where he comes from and understands the value of money.

“For me, he is still one of the best strikers in the world.”

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