The 30-year-old has been on a season-long loan at the Santiago Bernabeu with Jose Mourinho, who is set to be named Chelsea’s next manager, and will be keen on following him back to Stamford Bridge.
Essien looks up to Mourinho and even call him ‘Daddy’. The Ghanaian has played in several position during his time at Los Blancos, including defensive midfield, right-back, left-back and central midfield, but will he be used in a similar squad role back at Chelsea next season?
The player was quoted in The Sun:
“We have a very good relationship. I understand him very well. Daddy knows I can play in any position he wants me to, except goalkeeper.”
There is one more game remaining in the La Liga calendar on June 1st. Real Madrid will play at home against Osasuna and reports suggest that Mourinho will formally finalise his switch to Chelsea shortly afterwards.
It will be interesting to see how this one pans out as Chelsea deemed Essien surplus to requirements and preferred his wage to be off the books for a season rather than keep him around, whereas Mourinho was only too happy to use him in a squad role at Real Madrid. The budgets at both clubs are very different as although the Blues are backed by a wealthy owner, the wage bill is already more than the clubs annual turnover and as Roman Abramovich backs UEFA’s Financial Fairy Play it will be something the club will be keeping an eye on.
I’ve seen Real Madrid play a fair bit this season with the Copa del Rey and 3-3 draw against Real Sociedad being the most recent and Essien was really poor on both occasions. To me, it seems as though there is a misconception amongst the British press that because Essien has featured regularly it must mean that he has played well but in truth it has only been a so-so season for the midfielder.
During his pomp he was probably one of the best players on Chelsea’s books and was arguably the best box-to-box midfielder in world football, and he was also a personal favourite of him, but since the injuries he looks a shadow of his former self. I’m not even sure that it is all to do with his fitness as he’s able to play 90 minutes, it could be a mental issue as he looks as though he’s constantly conscious of the fact that he could be injured again at any time and almost holds back.
If he could get over this mental block, enjoy a clean bill of health and be restored to his former glory then that’s great but if not then it would probably be a good time to move him on, unfortunately.
Source: The Sun