How Nicolas Jackson and Didier Drogba's Numbers in Their First Seasons at Chelsea Compare

How Nicolas Jackson and Didier Drogba's Numbers in Their First Seasons at Chelsea Compare

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at April 23, 2024 at 1:38 PM
In this article:
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Didier Drogba logo
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  • Nicolas Jackson had a performance to forget over the weekend in the FA Cup
  • The 22-year-old Chelsea striker missed big chances against Manchester City
  • He is in his first season at Chelsea and has been compared to Didier Drogba

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Chelsea striker, Nicolas Jackson, has come under intense scrutiny in the last few days following his poor performance in the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City, which they lost 1-0.

The Senegal striker had several golden opportunities to score but fluffed his lines, attracting criticism and abuse from fans on social media.

Nicolas Jackson, Didier Drogba, Chelsea, Mauricio Pochettino, Premier League, FA Cup, Manchester City, Todd Boehly
Didier Drogba and Nicolas Jackson's numbers in their first seasons at Chelsea are almost similar. Photos by Darren Walsh and Rob Newell - CameraSport.
Source: Getty Images

Jackson joined the Blues in the summer of 2023 for £32 million, and although he has scored at least 10 goals, his performances have been heavily criticised throughout the season.

However, only Cole Palmer has scored more goals than the Senegal international.

Ahead of Chelsea's Premier League clash against Arsenal, Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino has backed the striker to be better next season, adding that the first season is always hard.

"The first season is always difficult for all of the players, more when you are in a position like a striker, and you need to perform and score goals. Everyone expects every single touch to score a goal," via Football London.

Poch, drawing comparisons to Chelsea legend, Didier Drogba, has backed Jackson to bounce back following a difficult first season.

"The players here to match the icon players here like Drogba, if we compare with Drogba, yes, he is always going to lose, but if we split the history of the club from the team and the performance of Jackson, I think he is doing fantastic."

Drogba arrived at Chelsea in 2004, ushering in an era of success. When he left the club, the London club had won multiple league titles and a European cup.

How does Jackson's first season compare to Drogba's?

Didier Drogba's first season at Chelsea

The Ivory Coast icon made his Chelsea debut in August 2004. The striker was 26 when he played his first Premier League game. Furthermore, Drogba started playing top flight football at the age of 23.

The 46-year-old played nine seasons in the Premier League, all with Chelsea. He scored in double digits in five of those seasons.

In his first season (2004/05) at Stamford Bridge, Drogba scored 16 goals in 41 matches in all competitions. 10 of his goals came in the Premier League, a trophy they won that season.

The Ivorian was clutch at Chelsea. He scored in big matches, especially finals, both domestically and in Europe. He scored the only goal in the 2007 FA Cup final as Chelsea beat Manchester United. He scored nine goals in 10 cup finals in England.

His equaliser in the 2012 Champions League final is still fresh in the minds of Chelsea fans. Drogba retired with four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, and three League Cups. He scored 164 goals in 381 games.

Nicolas Jackson's first season at Chelsea

Jackson started playing top flight football in the 2021/22 season with Villarreal. In the 2022/23 season, he became a key player at the club. At 22 years old, he is ahead of schedule compared to Drogba.

That season, he scored 13 goals in 38 appearances in all competitions. He scored 10 of those goals in La Liga.

This season, the 22-year-old has scored 13 goals in all competitions. He has bagged 10 of those goals in the Premier League, the same as Drogba in his first season at Chelsea.

With seven matches left in the league, Jackson can surpass the Ivory Coast legend.

Chelsea are having a difficult season, and most of the criticism has been directed at Jackson. He will need to improve his finishing, but his numbers show it is not all doom and gloom for the young centre forward.

Here's a summary of Jackson and Drogba's stats in their first seasons at Chelsea.




Nicolas Jackson




Didier Drogba




All stats courtesy of Transfermarkt.

Drogba's message to Jackson

Sports Brief has also reported on Drogba sending a message to Jackson after intense criticism over the weekend.

The legendary striker has given the youngster advice to help him bounce back after a tough first season at Chelsea.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.