Official: Michael Essien joins AC Milan

Paul Gilham

Essien's time at Chelsea is over, as the midfielder officially joins AC Milan

Michael Essien has passed his medical in Milanon Sunday, and he's now officially an AC Milan player. The midfielder has been on the books at Chelsea since 2005, and was one of the core players of the most successful stretch in the history of the club.

Age and injury have taken their toll on Essien, and this season made it fairly clear that he's just not not the sort of player that a top Premier League club can give major minutes to if they hope to challenge for a title. His displays for Real Madrid last season showed that he can still hold his own against slightly lesser opposition though, so there's every reason to believe he'll have a relatively successful spell in Serie A.

I'm sure every Chelsea fan out there wishes nothing but the best for Essien. It's a true shame that the player has had to deal with the sort of injuries he's had, as Essien in his prime was of of the finest all-around midfielders that the game has ever seen.

On a personal note, this is one of the more difficult departures that I'll ever have to write about. Michael Essien just oozed class both on and off the pitch, and while not always the first player one thought about with Chelsea, was instrumental to most of our recent success. For me this one is right up there with watching Didier Drogba depart. Bison, you're a Chelsea legend. You'll be missed, and we'd love to have you back with the club after your playing days are over.

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