Chelsea FC’s, Michael Essien, 28, will be out of action for six months following surgery on his knee after the player ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in pre-season training ahead of the forthcoming 2011/12 season.
The news means that Essien, who is a star in his native Ghana, will not return to action until early in 2012 for Chelsea, and makes their hunt for central midfield cover all the more important.
Speaking on the Chelsea club website, new Chelsea manager, Andre Villas-Boas told:
“Everyone at Chelsea wishes Michael well for his recovery. His team-mates and all the staff and I look forward to helping him return to playing as soon as possible.”
With offers for Samir Nasri, of Arsenal, and Luka Modric, of Tottenham Hotspur, seemingly faltering of late, it remains to be seen how Chelsea’s midfield will line up come the start of the Premier League season in August.
Whoever they do bring in to provide cover for the injured Essien, it is of no doubt that they will miss the versatile hero of the Black Stars.
Essien has been a Chelsea player since he was signed by then manager Jose Mourinho in August 2005, for a fee of GBP £24.4 million. Speaking on his arrival at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho described Michael Essien as “multifunctional”.
Since signing for Chelsea, Michael Essien has made 149 appearances for his club. It remains to be seen when he will make his 150th.