Essien completes AC Milan switch

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has completed a move to Italian giants AC Milan.

The 31-year-old leaves Stamford Bridge after eight-and-a-half trophy-laden years, having won the Champions League, two Premier League titles, four FA Cups and a League Cup while with the Blues.

He became Chelsea’s record signing when he arrived from Lyon for £24.4m in August 2005 and went on to make 257 appearances for the club.

Blues boss Jose Mourinho said: “We would have been happy had he stayed because he is a fantastic player for the team, but he’s given everything for the club and a great chance arrived for his future.

“I know he can continue to play at a high level and I wish him success and happiness in Italy and at the World Cup in Brazil.”

During his first season at the club, Essien was an instrumental part of the Chelsea side which secured a second consecutive Premier League title and in 2007 he became the first African player to win the Blues’ player of the year award.

He played at right-back in the 2008 Champions League defeat to Manchester United and was an unused substitute when Chelsea finally lifted the trophy in Munich in 2012.

Essien also suffered several serious injuries which curtailed his Chelsea appearances and he spent last season on loan at Real Madrid, under Mourinho.

However, the Portuguese’s return to Stamford Bridge didn’t revive Essien’s Chelsea career and he made just nine appearances this season.


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