Michael Essien admits its strange to be starting preseason without former Chelsea teammates Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou.

As he returns to the normal routine, there is one major difference for Essien at Chelsea this season; his good friends and fellow Africans Drogba and Kalou are no longer sharing the same dressing room with him.

Essien told chelseafc.com: "I will miss them but that is the game, it is part of our job and we have to deal with it. 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."