Michael Essien is known to the Premier League as a hard-tackling midfield enforcer. A few years ago, the Chelsea man was one of the best central midfielders in Europe. His career has since been plagued by injury and the 30-year-old has never got back to his best.
At his time in Chelsea, Essien helped the Blues to four FA Cups, one League Cup, two Premier League titles and a UEFA Champions League title.
He was an ever-present figure in the side's midfield and his energy and athleticism enabled him to be arguably the league's best box-to-box midfielder.
Essien played 243 games for Chelsea between 2005 and 2012 putting in impressive offensive and defensive displays. After a year on loan at Real Madrid, the Ghanian is back at Stamford Bridge, along with his former Real Madrid manager, Jose Mourinho. Essien is a popular face in West London and he is quite likely going to be a part of Mourinho's plans.
Essien, often referred to as 'The Bison', is essentially a central midfielder - and if Chelsea continue to employ the 4-2-3-1 formation, the 2007 Chelsea Player of the Year would in all likelihood feature in the defensive two in midfield.
With John Obi Mikel, Frank Lampard, David Luiz and Ramires proficient in that area of the pitch, Essien might struggle to break into the first team. It should be noted that Chelsea played a ridiculous 66 matches last season which saw a lot of squad rotation.
The fact that the Blues have sent Spanish midfielder Oriol Romeu out on loan to Valencia suggests that Mourinho is happy to give Essien his chance at the Bridge.
The Portuguese manager often utilised the former BBC African Player of the Year at right-back for both Chelsea and Real Madrid. Paulo Ferreira's retirement coupled with Branislav Ivanovic's importance to the centre of defence leave young Cesar Azpilicueta as the only senior right-back at Chelsea. We might see a bit more of the versatile Ghanian in defence this season.
At the end of the day, form will tell who plays for the Blues under Mourinho. But with Essien's injury problems hopefully behind him, the Ghanian might see more game time this season.
Do you think Michael Essien is still good enough to play for Chelsea?
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