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By ESPN Staff
Jan 18, 2008

Anelka: I'll make Drogba stay with Chelsea

Nicolas Anelka intends to make every effort to get Didier Drogba to stay at Chelsea.

Drogba's future at Stamford Bridge remains uncertain following the departure of Jose Mourinho in September.

The striker made his desire to leave the club very public in a France Football magazine interview earlier this season, but Anelka claims he would be foolish to quit.

Drogba later regretted making his remarks public and reaffirmed his commitment to Chelsea but rumours continue to circulate that he will leave at the end of the season.

The striker is currently away on international duty in the African Nations Cup but Anelka intends to persuade him to stay when he returns.

Anelka said: 'I think when he comes back I will speak with him because he doesn't know anything about what happens when you leave England.

'I know because I did it and I know when I was outside of England and the Premier League it was hard. I would tell him to stay because he will not find what he has at Chelsea and in England anywhere else.

'I spoke with him yesterday and I told him I'm looking forward to playing with him. I don't know what he thinks about his future but I will tell him to stay and we can be good together.

'I did it before, I know what happened in my life. I will speak to him and try to explain what happens when you leave.

'He is a big star in England and a big star in Chelsea and everybody loves him. It's up to him if he decides to leave - what can you do? - but I will tell him not to.'

Anelka believes the timing would be wrong if Drogba decided to leave.

'He's 29 I think and if he wants to come back it's going to be very difficult. I did it when I was 20 so I could come back,' he said.

'He's nearly 30, so if he signs somewhere and he regrets it, it's very difficult to come back.

'I don't regret leaving Arsenal, I knew what I had to do. When Real Madrid come to you, it's difficult to say no.

'You never know what will happen in your future. I did what I had to do and I'm just happy because I won the Champions League. I have no regrets. Life is like that.'

Anelka was branded `Le Sulk' earlier in his career for his moody persona but the former Arsenal, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester City, Fenerbahce and Bolton player insists the tag was unjust.

Anelka added: 'It was more outside of football than football. People were talking about my character.

'I think it was wrong because if you ask all the players I played with they would never say anything wrong about me.

'I don't like to speak too much. Maybe people thought it was arrogance or something but I was very young and couldn't speak good English so it was very difficult for me.

'I knew I couldn't stay very long in Spain. You can't do anything. You drive, people recognise you, you go to a restaurant and you have paparazzi outside. I prefer the life in England.

'In Spain it was hard outside the pitch so I couldn't play well on it. I knew I couldn't stay any longer.

'In England it's different. I like England and I like the way players live their life here. When I'm happy outside I'm happy in my football.'