By Moses Adeyemi

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes that full-back Branislav Ivanovic is one of the club’s best ever signings.

The 30-year-old scored the winner as the Premier League leaders downed Aston Villa 2-1 on Saturday to go seven points clear at the top, having already netted against Liverpool in the League Cup semi-final as well as two other goals this season.

Ivanovic’s 2008 move from Lokomotiv Moscow is far from one of the biggest deals made under owner Roman Abramovich but Mourinho feels that he has made a huge contribution.

“Is he one of the club’s best signings? I think so,” the Portuguese told the press.

“He came immediately after I left after my first spell in charge and after that he made a fantastic contribution for this club. He is a
competitive animal with a big heart.

“What really matters more is what we as a club feel for him and people like John Terry and Gary Cahill, guys that, without them, you cannot do anything.

“A team is an artist like Eden Hazard, it is a defender like Branislav. The mix and combination of talent makes a team.

“Every striker in the world would be proud to score that magnificent goal; it is an amazing goal. When he scores that goal and it is 3-0 or
4-0 it is a different feeling. He is a great guy; what he is doing for us is unbelievable.”

During his seven years in London, Ivanovic has won the FA Cup three times as well as the Premier League, Champions League, Europa
League and Community Shield.