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Didier Drogba turns down invitation to Cup of Nations

Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

For the first time in essentially forever, Chelsea will be at full strength during an Africa Cup of Nations. Thanks to Nigeria failing to qualify for the tournament, John Obi Mikel will be staying at Stamford Bridge this winter, and now it's been confirmed that Didier Drogba won't be going anywhere either, having turned down the opportunity to represent the Ivory Coast in Equatorial Guinea.

I talked with Didier but he wanted to concentrate on his club. I have to respect his decision. He has given the national team a great deal and he’s moved on.

-Ivory Coast manager Herve Renard. Source: Guardian Nigeria

This, of course, doesn't come as any sort of surprise -- the 35-year-old retired from international duty after the World Cup, and while it's nice that Renard wanted him back it was hardly very likely that Drogba would have un-retired for this tournament. Having all three of Loic Remy, Drogba and Diego Costa around will be important in the tail end of the season, and I think Drogba's already shown that he's an important player for us even though he's no longer a starter.