He played with him, he won Premier League titles, FA Cups and the Champions League with him. Now Didier Drogba watches Premier League football as a spectator only, and he is backing Petr Čech to win the league for Arsenal.

The Ivorian striker was speaking to Sky Sports about this season’s title race, and accepts that his beloved Chelsea are out.

“I think Manchester City will be strong as they have been in the last few years,” said Drogba.

“Unfortunately Chelsea are too far [from the top] so I will go for my friend Petr Cech with Arsenal.”

Manchester City went to the top of the table with a win against Southampton on Saturday but Arsenal can leapfrog both Leicester City and Manchester United to go within a point of the top by beating Norwich City on Sunday afternoon.

The Gunners haven’t won the title since 2004 but Drogba – often the scourge of Arsène Wenger’s side – thinks that could change this year. Why?

“They have Petr Cech.”

Hopefully (I can’t believe I’m writing this!) we can prove Drogba right. Having Petr Čech is great, so is watching Chelsea fail. The icing on the cake would be to win the league with Čech in goal while his former club continue to falter under José Mourinho.