Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has paid former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba an incredible compliment, calling his absence from the Premier League a boost to the Blues’ rivals.

Drogba, 34, spent eight seasons in English football, solely representing Chelsea ever since his 2004 move from Marseille.

The Ivory Coast international most recently powered the Blues to a UEFA Champions League and FA Cup double before choosing to further his career with the Shanghai Shenhua.

Fergie’s Red Devils will play a pre-season friendly against Drogba’s new team later this month but before that happens, the Scot has hailed the prolific forward’s contributions to the Barclays Premier League.

“When you think of the season he’s just had, I must say it is a big boost for us that Drogba is leaving Chelsea. He scored that fantastic goal in the final with two minutes to go and his goalscoring record in the big games, in big finals, is incredible,” Ferguson stated.

Taking his compliments to a whole new level, the United boss continued: “As far as I was concerned, he won the Champions League for Chelsea.”

While Drogba led the Blues to two trophies last season, Sir Alex saw his United side end without winning silverware and will now hope to rebound against stiff competition from Chelsea and defending Premier League champions Manchester City.