As the transfer deadline looms closer and closer, the deals get weirder and weirder, with more loans for desperate sides and players coming through. The next possible big one? Arsenal, looking for someone (they need more than just someone) to improve their defensive midfield, are looking into bringing in Michael Essien of Chelsea on loan.
After selling Alex Song, Arsene Wenger is looking for someone to play behind Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta in the defensive midfield, and Michael Essien, who seems to be left out of the first team plans by Roberto Di Matteo at Stamford Bridge, and has been linked with Fenerbahce in recent weeks for an £8 million transfer might be the man Wenger turns to in order to fill that hole created just before the start of the season.
Michael Essien, when healthy, was probably one of the best midfielders in the world for over half a decade since joining Chelsea from Lyon in 2005 for £24.4 million. Injuries took their toll on the Ghanaian international, who has played in only 72 league matches over the last four season, playing 14 matches or less in three of them.
Last season, once again returning from a long-term injury, it was clear that Essien was no longer the dominant player, who physically dominated midfielder on both sides and could add a lot to the attack with his aggressive bursts forward and fantastic long range shots. The speed was gone and the ability to overpower other midfielder in physical battles was simply gone. Pretty soon, he was left out of the ‘return of the old guard’ mini revolution done by Di Matteo. He spent the entire Champions League final on the bench.
This season? Pretty much the same. Di Matteo is going with Obi Mikel as holding midfielder, leaving Essien on the bench and out of his first team plans, with Raul Meireles completing the four man rotation in the middle of the park along with Frank Lampard and Ramires.
Just like Yossi Benayoun made the switch from Chelsea to Arsenal last season to give Wenger a bit more depth, Essien’s transfer isn’t necessarily a ‘start every match’ kind of deal, with Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky waiting to return from injury, although Essien can fill holes at right back as well, where Wenger is waiting for the return of Bacary Sagna.
Since joining Chelsea in 2005 from Lyon, Essien has played in 243 matches for the club, scoring 25 goals. He has been part of two Premier League titles and four FA Cups. He’s also been capped 52 times for Ghana, scoring 9 goals.