Teemu Tainio describes Chelsea new boy Michael Essien as one of the strongest players he has ever come across.
Teemu crossed midfield swords with the Ghana international a number of times during his spell with Auxerre, with Essien in opposition at Bastia and Lyon.
Chelsea ended the summer's longest running transfer saga last week and Essien made his debut as a substitute in the 1-0 win against Arsenal on Sunday before featuring in the 4-0 triumph over West Brom in midweek.
Assuming he is selected for Saturday's top of the table clash at the Lane, it will not be the first time we have come across Essien this summer. The powerfully built middleman was a member of the Lyon team defeated 3-1 in the Peace Cup final in South Korea.
"Essien is a very, very talented player and is one of the strongest players I have ever seen," relayed Teemu, an injury doubt for the game. "He likes to go forward, he is quick and I think he is a very complete player. He will do well at Chelsea.
"For me he is a holding midfield player who also likes to go forward. He has great energy and can keep going for the whole game.
"I really liked playing against him, we have spoken a couple of times and he is a nice guy. He is a very good player and I liked coming up against him.
"For a young player he has been under a lot of pressure. I think he will handle it and I hope he does well."
So, apart from success in Seoul, did Teemu very often get the better of Chelsea's latest acquisition?
"Sometimes!" he responded shyly.
Another Teemu came across during his time at Auxerre was Chelsea spearhead Didier Drogba who, at the time, was leading the line for Marseille. Like Mido, Teemu suspects Drogba will present a far more potent force this season.
"When he played for Marseille he had an excellent season and scored over 20 goals. Last season was his first in England and it is always difficult to come here and you shouldn't expect so much straight away.
"He is a very good striker and he knows how to score goals. I think this season we will see the real Didier Drogba."