Michael Essien's free transfer to AC Milan has been somewhat overshadowed by the other major piece of transfer business between Chels...

Michael Essien's free transfer to AC Milan has been somewhat overshadowed by the other major piece of transfer business between Chelsea and Manchester United this week. Now, it's time to pay our tribute to 'The Bison".

In recent seasons having been plagued by injury, Michael Essien has found it hard to maintain his fitness and make a consistent contribution to the team.

Having watched his performances at right back for Real Madrid under Jose Mourinho last season and having watched his performances for Chelsea in this pre season gone by, it looked like he was back on track and about to play a big part in our season. Sadly, for one reason or another, that has not happened and as a result, Jose Mourinho has granted Essien with a free transfer to Italy.

You look at Michael Essien and you think of his strength, his presence in midfield and his power on the pitch. Someone who can defend, attack and score goals. The problem Essien has had is injuries and it's apparent than having been a Chelsea player for nine seasons (and here for eight), Essien has only really had four complete seasons in the first team but still achieved so much here!

Having spent five years in France, Essien signed for Chelsea for £24.4m (at the time, the most expensive African player) in 2005, Jose Mourinho's second season and became an important part of the team for the next three years making no less than 141 appearances during that period.

Essien then began to have his injury problems and made only 40 appearances in the following two seasons at the club.

In the 2010-11 season, one year after Chelsea had won an unprecedented double under Carlo Ancelotti, Essien seemed to have put his problems behind him and made a big impact on the team once again. He made a total of 43 appearances in that season.

However, in the following two years, Essien had more problems and made a total of 19 appearances in that time.

Last season, Jose Mourinho re-signed Essien on loan at Real Madrid for the second part of the season and he made a total of 20 appearances.

Michael Essien needs to be remembered for the important role he has played at this football club. I have mentioned his injury problems because it's fact but we have to focus on what he has achieved here as a player.

Two Premier League titles, three FA Cups, a League Cup and the UEFA Champions League.

Michael Essien made a total of 250 appearances for Chelsea scoring 25 goals. Who can forget his volley into the top corner against Barcelona and his thunderbolt against Arsenal from fully 30 yards that flew into the net!

When fit and able, Michael Essien was literally up there with the best of them!

Thank you Michael for always giving your all for Chelsea and good luck in the future!

Carefree & KTBFFH!

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