Michael Essien Profile
A brilliant midfielder whose status would have been even higher if it wasn’t for the number of serious injuries that he sadly suffered in the second half of his career.
Michael Essien was still playing with his local side as a 16 year old when he had scouts across Europe suddenly scrambling for his signature following a number of stellar performances at the World U17 Championships, helping Ghana to finish in a fantastic third place. Manchester United tried to sign him but had his work permit refused and Essien ended up in France at Bastia. Having started out in a number of defensive roles, a move into midfield would see Essien establish himself in Ligue 1 and it wasn’t long before Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon were battling it out for his services, Essien opting for Lyon and immediately forming a fantastic midfield partnership with Juninho Pernambucano, the Brazilian’s playmaking skills complimenting Essien’s relentless box-to-box energy. Essien would win the Ligue 1 title in both his seasons at the Stade de Gerland.
José Mourinho’s big-spending Chelsea was the next stop for Michael Essien in 2005, the Stamford Bridge outfit splashing out £24.4m on him, breaking the record they’d paid out the previous summer for Didier Drogba.
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