Michael Essien is back to reclaim his Throne in Chelsea’s Midfield

August 1, 2013 6:08 am0 comments by:

EssienThe  new European Football Season starts next month. All clubs have started pre-season training. Every football club is trying to improve their squad and release a few players. The objective for every football club is to improve on the previous season. Chelsea as a contender for the 2013/2014 English Premier League title,are no different.

Currently, Chelsea have made 3 transfer signings to add to their 2013/2014 squad. They have signed Mark Shawarzer, an experienced goal keeper on one year contract.And they have signed 2 attacking midfielders in the form of Marco Van Gikel and Andre Schurrle.

Marco van Ginkel is a 20-year-old Dutch International, who came through the youth system at Vitesse Arnhem before making his debut in the Dutch top flight near the end of the 2009/10 season, aged 17.He played his first full international for the Netherlands in November and represented his country at the European Under-21 Championships in Israel in June 2013.

Andre Schurrle is 22-year-old German International, signed from Bayer Leverkusen on a five-year contract and will wear the No.14 shirt. He is a versatile attacker, who can play either as a creative wide player or a central striker. His ability to drift inside from either flank is one of his biggest strengths and he has developed a penchant for scoring goals of the spectacular variety.

The 2 summer signings have increased the midfielders in Chelsea ranks to14. This recent signings is a continuation of the Chelsea recent policy to recruit young, attacking minded and internationals. They have been recruited to improve the creative options and also reduce the average of the squad for the future.

In 2005/2006, Jose Mourinho fought to land Michael Essien for 25 million. In 2012/2013, he was on loan to Real Madrid and employed as a right back. This year’s 2013/2014 pre-season tour, he is with the first team squad as the loan has expired with Real Madrid. He is being played in his natural midfield position. This is likely to continue under Jose Mourinho. The present manager brought him to Chelsea and also took him on loan to Real Madrid.

However, Chelsea fans are not convinced he is worthy of first team play in the current squad. During the 2011/2012 season, Essien was unfortunate to be plagued with knee injuries. The injury resulted in a limited impact on route to Chelsea winning the 2011/2012 Champions League. Last season, Roberto Matteo and Raphael Benitez were not convinced of his match fitness. He did not feature in Chelsea matches and was eventually loaned out during the January window to Real Madrid.

In his place was a recent summer recruit Ramires. He has established himself as a creative box to box player. This is the reputation Essien carved out for himself after signing for Chelsea. The difference is that Ramires has no previous long term injury,and is a more creative and younger player than Essien. These are differences that the coach Jose, Michael Essien and loyal Chelsea fans would need to bridge, to justify recovering his position.

At Madrid, he was fit to play a part role during his loan spell.It probablly proves his injury days are over.You might be thinking, who is right about Micheal Essien physical form. Is it his previous 2 Managers or his ‘Daddy’ Jose Mourinho?
The signs during the pre season tour are that he will play a major part in the upcoming season compared to the last 2 seasons. He may turn out more for the first team squad.
My personal view is that Chelsea will benefit more with him than without him. This is a scenario that at onset of his career at Lyon or Chelsea would not have been a debate. This brings me to the question as to whether we are looking at the decline of another talented midfield.

The scenario is different for Mikel Obi, a team mate. He is enjoying being a prominent influence in the Nigerian National Squad. His future; however with Chelsea FC appears to be over. Last season, he played few games than any other midfielder apart from Victor Moses. The conclusion of analysis report indicates less impact in the team success. It also shows that the Team fills the squad with more attacking midfielder’s. Mikel Obi plays as a defensive role. The overall view from the stand is that he should be sold to another team.
Personally, I agree that it is time for Mikel Obi to look for a new challenge. The rumor is that Turkish Clubs are monitoring the situation.

In the meantime, he is focused on helping Nigeria qualify for World Cup Rio 2016. He will have to discuss his options with the club and his agents, after the qualification. I would be glad, if his current status is resolved prior to qualifiers in Sept 2013. This will help the player and the national team.
But this may not run as smoothly due to unforeseen factors. It will be great for both to continue to play at the highest level, whatever the outcome.



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