Didier Drogba has a target on his back as Chelsea youngster Armando Broja seeks to surpass his celebrated achievements.
Broja is enjoying a productive loan spell at Vitesse in the Eredivisie, with nine goals in 20 league outings making him the top-scoring teenager in Europe’s top 10 leagues – the top flights in the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Belgium and Greece in addition to the established big five under UEFA’s country coefficients.
The 19-year-old made his Chelsea debut last March, coming off the bench in a 4-0 win over Everton.
He hopes it will prove to be the start of a memorable career at Stamford Bridge, with hotshot Drogba the man he is aiming to eclipse.
“Nine goals and two assists is good but I am never satisfied,” the Albania international told Goal. “I want to get more goals and assists to keep tallying them up.
“I have played over 1,000 minutes and I have 11 goal contributions. It is not bad but I want more goals and assists. I want to do more.”
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Broja explained how seeing the likes of Drogba, John Terry and Frank Lampard as he was coming up through the youth system at Chelsea provided inspiration.
And it is the Ivorian forward whose footsteps he wants to follow, with Drogba having scored 104 Premier League goals for the club, putting him second behind Lampard (147).
He said: “I was like: ‘Wow! That’s Frank Lampard, Drogba or John Terry right in front of me’ when I would see them around.
“I loved to take pictures with them because I wanted to be them. I wanted to be in their shoes at the top level.
“Now I am approaching the age they were when they were playing, I want to try and surpass Drogba. It might not be easy, but that’s my mentality and how I am feeling.”
Broja’s next chance to impress is in Tuesday’s KNVB Beker semi-final against VVV-Venlo and, should he help his side into the final, he will doubtless want to emulate Drogba’s exploits in showpiece matches.
Drogba scored nine goals in 10 finals for Chelsea, while in 2007 he became the first player to net the decisive effort in both the League Cup and FA Cup finals in the same season.
The powerful forward also made his presence felt on the European stage, scoring a club-record 36 Champions League goal to underline the scale of the challenge Broja has set himself.
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