Michael Essien has been very impressive in Chelsea's recent pre-season fixtures and this now begs the question: Is he back to his very best? Essien was one of the top midfielders in the world back in his day, but consecutive injuries left him with a long spell on the side-lines.

His strength, charging runs and incredible shooting ability made him almost unplayable in the midfield, earning him the Chelsea player of the year award back in 2007.

The Ghanian has played a huge part in several title-winning campaigns for Chelsea and it appears that he may now be back to his old self and ready to aid the Blues as they ready for another title push under Mourinho.

Essien spent last season on loan at Spanish giants Real Madrid, making 34 appearances, but starting some key games in the unfamiliar right-back position.

Chelsea were strapped for natural midfield players last season but now have an abundance of quality in that department, however, they have no one quite like Essien.

Marco van Ginkel, Kevin De Bruyne and Ramires are all very able in the pivot but if Mourinho is looking for a natural defensive-midfielder to act as the heart of Chelsea's midfield he should look no further than Essien.


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