London: Chelsea defender Gary Cahill on Wednesday said Spanish forward Diego Costa can fill the shoes of Didier Drogba at the English Premier League (EPL) side after the Ivorian announced his departure.
The latter's second stint with Chelsea ended on Sunday as they celebrated their EPL title triumph with a win over Sunderland.
Costa scored his 20th goal of the season in the 3-1 win and Cahill feels he can very well replicate what Drogba has done for the club.
"I know it's the second time Didier's been here but obviously it's sad that he's played his last game for the club. He said a few words before we left the hotel, it was only brief but it was good," Cahill was quoted as saying by goal.com.
"I'm sure one day we'll see him back at the club. I don't think he's gone forever but probably from a playing point of view that was his last game.
"They're big shoes to fill but Diego couldn't have started his Chelsea career any better. He's had a couple of injuries but nevertheless his goal-scoring ratio has been phenomenal," Cahill said of the 26-year-old former Atletico Madrid star.
"He'll be a big player here and with Diego in the team you're a far better side."
Cahill also added manager Jose Mourinho has already warned them it will be difficult to defend their title next season given the number of high quality teams in the league.
"He's told us it will be a lot harder to win it next season. He's drilling that into us and as players that's a good thing," Cahill said.
"It's important for us to take his advice as someone who's been there and done it and no doubt it will be tough because teams always want to beat you when you're champions, like Manchester City have found this season," the 29-year-old added.
"You don't need to be told it's hard. I know how hard it's been this season, even though we've been at the top all the way through. I'm sure other teams will strengthen in the summer and that will make it even harder for us," he said.