Good news emanating from Stamford Bridge claim that Michael Essien is back in training, although he is not expected to return until the end of March. This development has however been welcomed with great enthusiasm by Essien’s Chelsea faithfuls and Ghanaians fans.
The Ghanian midfielder has been described by experts as the missing link of Chelsea so far in the season. It is said that his absence in Chelsea this season might be the reason for the clubs not-too-glittering performance recently. Prior to his knee injury suffered during the Ghana-Libya World Cup qualifier in Tripoli, Essien’s contribution at club and national levels had been highly praised by pundits and fans alike.
Despite a wonderful year, the Midfield dynamo has again been denied Africa’s top football award to the dismay of many. However, being nominated as CAF player of the year for three years running (2006, 2007 and 2008), is a feat yet to be chalked by any player on the continent.
The Continent’s football governing body, the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) failure to reward the powerful Ghanaian for his outstanding performance in 2008 has raised questions even amongst coaches like former Chelsea boss, Scolari who claimed to the English press that Essien’s output is equal to that of five players. Stephen Johnson, a football enthusiast was quoted as saying he was surprised by the choice of the GLO-CAF African footballer of the year’s panel, as the most obvious winner should have been either Aboutrika or the multiple nominated Micheal Essien.
Michael Essien has also been praised by his Chelsea team mates who believe that his contribution to the club has been greatly missed. When he was signed on by Jose Mourinho, in 2005 some people thought that he was an over-priced, and an overrated player. However, his incredible energy and stamina have proven the naysayers wrong. In the 2007 season alone, Essien managed to win the Chelsea Player of the Year Award, an FA cup winner’s medal, and a League Cup winner’s medal.