Excitement will be amongst Chelsea fans with the recent comments made by Michael Essien with regards to his future. The Bison made his move to London in 2005 becoming Chelsea’s most expensive signing of all time. The question that Chelsea fans will be wondering is whether he will be able to stay injury free throughout the campaign and will he be able to have an impact within the squad as in the past few seasons his form has fallen because of major knee injuries.
There is no doubt that having Essien around will help the current Chelsea squad mature some of their younger players. His attitude has always been very professional and committed to the club and especially Jose Mourinho who he calls ‘Daddy’. Although slightly weird, it does highlight the incredible persona the Jose possess being able to convince players to die for him on the pitch. Essien’s senior role within the squad could have the perfect influence on the younger players making sure that they make the right decisions both on and off the pitch. Mourinho stated “He’s a great man, he is loyal to me, he is loyal to Chelsea, he is loyal to Madrid, he is loyal to everybody”, thus the perfect attitude that can have a long term impact on the future of Chelsea through the guiding of younger players. We have seen Manchester United do this successfully.
The versatility that Essien possess, being able to play right back and centre back as well as the power house in Midfield means that he can offer great cover within the team, even if he is not a regular starter as before. Mourinho recently alluded to this “ I know he can play in every position apart from goalkeeper and striker”. Chelsea fans will have great memories of Essien at the bridge, from his volley against Barcelona to his strike in the last few minutes against Arsenal which to this day I still have memories standing behind in the Matthew Harding stand. He was the first African player to win the fans player of the year in 2006/07 after an incredible season. The dynamic powerhouse was incredible during that season and showed why Jose paid so much money for him.
Evidently the class and quality is there, but is this really the same Essien, can the body physically continue to operate at the highest level after continual brutal destruction. After watching him in the recent years both at Chelsea and Madrid I would suggest that Essien will be unable to become the player he once was. However, it does not mean that he is unable to fill a role within the squad, especially as Chelsea currently lacks a real defensive powerhouse midfielder. Essien also has the experience and the correct professional attitude that can really have a positive impact for the youngsters coming through; Essien has been through it all. One thing is for certain, it’s great for the Bison to be back, even if we may never see the Bison of 2006-2009.
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