How should Chelsea deal with the Oriol Romeu injury? Recall Michael Essien.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

While the Oriol Romeu injury is unfortunate, Chelsea already have a perfect replacement that can be brought back on January 1st.

One of the more confusing moves of the summer was the loaning of Michael Essien to Real Madrid. While Essien was anything but a sure thing to get minutes at Stamford Bridge, it seemed that a temporary move to a club in which he'd likely have a hard time finding the pitch would do little to increase his value. Still, with John Obi Mikel, Raul Meireles, Frank Lampard, Ramires and Oriol Romeu in the fold, it didn't seem like the move would come back to haunt Chelsea.

A few days later, Chelsea decided to sell Raul Meireles and further thin their midfield. While it was likely a move geared toward reducing the wage bill, it left Chelsea awfully thin in the center of the midfield should anyone suffer a long term injury. Unfortunately for Chelsea, that injury has now occurred and we'll be without Oriol Romeu for the remainder of the season.

All of a sudden, this Essien loan doesn't look like the worst idea in the world. The Essien loan supposedly includes an option to recall the midfielder in January, and Essien was seeing regular minutes before his reaction to some medication. It would make an awful lot of sense to exercise that option for the following reasons:

  • He's Michael Essien. Any team with Michael Essien is better than a team without Michael Essien.
  • He is already a Chelsea player. He'd cost no transfer fee, and there would be no time wasted in negotiation. Simply inform the player and temporary club that we are recalling him, and he'd be a Chelsea player again the moment the transfer window opens.
  • He's Michael Essien. Any team with Michael Essien is better than a team without Michael Essien.
  • Chelsea fans are still fuming over the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo and the subsequent hiring of interim manager Rafa Benitez. Bringing back an extremely popular figure in Essien will in all likelihood be a very, very popular move. Making the fans happy certainly couldn't be a bad thing at this point in time.
  • He's Michael Essien. Any team with Michael Essien is better than a team without Michael Essien.
  • While he hasn't been the Bison of old, Essien has been fairly solid for most of his loan spell at Madrid. He'd certainly be a better option on the pitch right now than either of Josh McEachran or Nathaniel Chalobah, and a recall would allow that pair to continue to play regularly in the Championship.
  • He's Michael Essien. Any team with Michael Essien is better than a team without Michael Essien.
  • Essien's future role at the club is still a bit uncertain. He is under contract for two more seasons after this one, but nobody really knows what the club has in mind going forward. Essien certainly couldn't hurt his value if the club recall him and he plays well, and at this point there is very little reason to believe he'd struggle to find playing time. Who knows, we might even like what we see enough to decide to keep him around.
  • I don't know if I've mentioned this yet, but he's Michael Essien. Any team with Michael Essien is better than a team without Michael Essien.

After the sale of Meireles, it was hard to find a Chelsea fan that really felt that loaning Essien to Real Madrid was a great move. We've reportedly got the ability to rectify that, and we certainly have a need to do so. Why don't we just avoid any prolonged transfer sagas this January and just bring back one of the best players to ever don a Chelsea kit? It makes so much sense on so many levels, and more importantly, the fans would love it.


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