Why Chelsea Must Not Let Essien Leave

Chelsea cannot let Michael Essien walk away from the club this summer.

Michael Essien has been linked with a summer switch to Juventus, once his loan deal with Real Madrid expires and he heads back to West London.

That would be a very disappointing and counter productive move for Chelsea to allow to happen because Essien has the ability to be one of the club’s best players next season, especially under the new manager to be appointed once Rafa Benitez has left the club.

Essien has been playing his football for Real Madrid, on loan from Chelsea, where he has made 14 starts and two sub appearances for Jose Mourinho this season, grabbing just a single goal in the process.

The fact they only have one player at the moment in John Obi Mikel, who can play an enforcer type role for the side, means Chelsea need to retain Essien and they need to keep him in the squad for next season.

It seems like a no brainer for a number of reasons, especially if all of the rumours are true and Jose Mourinho is going to walk away from the Spanish giants and re-join Chelsea ahead of next season.

Chelsea have a very small team at the moment, filled with midfield players who are gifted in possession of the ball and gifted in terms of their attacking effect.

Oscar and Eden Hazard in particular have both been very effective during their first seasons in the English game, because teams have been struggling to find ways of muting their influence throughout key Premier League contests.

As they are so effective on the ball, teams could start taking a highly aggressive and physical approach into matches which will stop them from being so effective in the final third.

That could well turn out to be the case, which means Chelsea need players like Essien in the middle to counter that and protect the smaller players who are less able to stick up for themselves physically.

It would also be a baffling transfer for the club to allow if Frank Lampard leaves the club at the end of the season as expected because there is still no sign of a new contract for the Chelsea legend.

That means Essien’s experience in the middle of the team becomes even more important because Chelsea won’t have Lampard to fall back on, when the going gets tough in a key midfield battle against the bigger physical sides and also the higher quality possession based sides.

It would be more likely for Chelsea to allow this to happen if his contract was near expiration and they weren’t thinking of keeping him on, but Essien still has two years left to run on his current deal, which suggests he’s still considered by many as a long term component of the team.

Should Chelsea let him leave?

image: © sonyds

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