Michael Essien could find his place in the AC Milan side blocked if the Italian giants sign Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira in the New Year.
The Ghanaian has played a key role in their recent surge under new manager Filippo Inzaghi, but past has shown injuries could soon begin to take their toll.
Arsenal are also reportedly interested in securing a deal for the German, but Arsene Wenger may continue to deny the fans the central midfielder that they crave.
Whatever the club Essien has always impressed with his attitude and capabilities for hard graft, and was moved on to the San Siro after an eight-year spell with Chelsea. Injuries and a loan to Madrid saw him pushed out of Stamford Bridge, with Jose Mourinho dismissing his faithful disciple into the grateful hands of Inzaghi.
Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas, Ramires and Oscar meant there was no place for him in the Portuguese’s squad that have now lie top of the table in the Premier League. At Madrid he was used sparingly and often watching from the stands in games as Mourinho’s empire crumbled, but still made a respectable 34 appearances in which he scored twice.
However since moving in January his career at the San Siro has been dogged by injuries, with this season currently the shining light of his time in Italy.
Khedira is amongst the world’s finest defensive midfielders and could shine in absence of the 31-year-old. Toni Kroos’ arrival has left him marginalised in the Spanish capital, with Luka Modric and James Rodrigues also above him in the pecking order.
Carlo Ancelotti is keen to further break up the La Decima winning squad after allowing Angel Di Maria to join the Louis Van Gaal revolution at Manchester United, whilst Spanish international Xabi Alonso left for Pep Guardiola’s impressive Bayern Munich side.
The jury is still out as to whether Kroos has done enough to deserve his place in the side despite starring at the World Cup in Brazil, but Khedira is likely to be allowed to leave for pastures new after impressive since his move in 2010.
It is still very much a time of chop-and-change in Milan after the departures of both Massimiliano Allegri and Clarence Seedorf last term, with the giants looking to return to the Champions League after this year’s absence.
Inzaghi has got them off to a winning start with the likes of Fernando Torres, Jeremy Menez and Keisuke Honda to the fore, and currently trail league leaders Juventus by just five points.
The future is bright for Essien’s side but they may just fulfil their potential without him in their ranks.