Throughout the world, there were many confused Chelsea fans as the European Champions let one of the greatest ever African footballers leave on loan to none other than Real Madrid. With each passing day, this deal fails to get any clearer with it’s explanation. The fans favourite Michael Essien was out the door and his future with the Blues appears unclear.
In the summer of 2005, Michael Essien was signed from Lyon by the Special One (or as Essien painfully calls him, “Daddy”) for £24.4million. He was – at the time – our club’s record signing and was apparently brought in after a failure to land Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard.
His first season was nothing short of exceptional. His bright energy and tenacity enchanced the Chelsea midfield to the next level and he looked an excellent addition to the Premier League. Sadly, over the years, Essien has been on a decline. Horrible long term injuries damaged Essiens career causing him to miss AFCONs and the 2010 World Cup leaving Ghana without their talisman captain. He made just 10 starts last season after his ligament injury and has spent this season on loan with “Daddy” at the Bernabau. He hasn’t had such injury problems and his appearances for Madrid have only come about as others have got injured. His great versatility has helped Real Madrid this season as Essien has filled in at a variety of roles. It must be said though that he does look like a shadow of his former self.
But what will happen when his loan finishes? Will Chelsea keep him or will he be sold? The answer to these questions is that nobody knows, the board probably don’t even know but I’d guess he will be sold.
I must say, I do love Essien. He has been a great player for Chelsea scoring some important (and some spectacular) goals over the years and he has been bossing the midfield throughout his matches. He certainly would have been useful this season as well as our midfield has been found to be very weak in terms of depth and I think that Essien could have been useful with squad rotation and depth when the fixture list got hectic.
Sadly, Michael isn’t the player he was a few years ago. Injuries have slowed him and whilst he has gained weight, he seems to have lost his bursting energy and bravery with tackling. He looks a bit sluggish and from when I’ve seen him play for Madrid this season, he sadly hasn’t been the gung-ho Ghanaian we know and love. By no means has he been a completely terrible player this season oh no, he just isn’t the player he was and I doubt he ever will be that player again.
Essien is under contract until 2015 so we aren’t in a position where we can release him in the summer. I think he could add to this squad with his experience and utility. By him staying though, the path to the first team for players such as Josh “the English Iniesta” McEachran and Oriol Romeu is further obstructed. In truth, I believe that he will be sold in the summer for a minimal price which vacates a hole in our squad for another younger (and maybe even better) midfielder like Etienne Capoue or Fellaini or whoever. If we decide that we are to be rid of Essien, I really, really hope we treat him with a lot more respect than we did to Alex, Anelka and Malouda. After all, he’s a Chelsea legend and a European Champion.
Now, poll time. I know, exciting stuff! Right there are two polls: first one is what would you do with Essien and the second being what do you think will happen?
Add your comments at the bottom as well guys! Feedback on the articles is always welcome and as always, we want to know your views! Keep The Blue Flag Flying High!