The Ivory Coast international’s future at Stamford Bridge is still uncertain but he has made some big steps to being offered a new deal after scoring four goals in his last six outings, including a match-winning brace last night against Valencia to guide the Blues into the Champions League Round of 16.
Mata admits that Drogba is a very important player and indicated that he hopes the 33-year old stays on past the turn of the year.
"Didier is a super striker," the Spaniard told the Evening Standard.
"He is strong and fast, scores goals and makes assists. He is very important for us and against Valencia he showed it.
"I don't know what is happening (with his contract). It is an individual decision between the club and Didier but for us it is important to have strikers like Didier, Fernando Torres and Salomon Kalou. "