But he concedes it wasn't his call to sign the Ivorian.
Walsh told evertonfc.com: “In those days we were looking at Zola but he was already an Italian international. You still had to make a call. I went to watch Didier Drogba at Marseille and I had seen him before when he was at Guingamp in the lower leagues.
"I was asked, 'What do you think of him?' But it was someone else's call. It was only when I left Chelsea and became chief scout at Newcastle that it became my responsibility to make the calls. It's difficult the first time you do it because you are spending an awful lot of somebody's money and there is the big expectation that fans have."