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The Bison's back, cue gritty revival

With Mourinho back in England, so is Michael Essien, and by all accounts, it'd seem this time, he's hanging around for good, and preparing for a successful second stint in a Chelsea shirt.

Denis Doyle

Essien's last season at the club was largely disappointing, a nasty cruciate ligament injury ruled him out for most of the season, and by the time he was back, things were looking pretty down. It ended up being a bit hard to cement a place during the last days of AVB's tottering tenure and after Robbie took over, Essien found himself stuck as a back-up, scraping together 15-16 odd appearances.

Anyway, the Madrid loan ended up being a breath of fresh air, as under Jose, he found playing time a little easier to come by, with 35 appearances featuring a fair few starts. What's more, plenty of them ended up being at fullback, so we know he's capable of doing a job there in a pinch. (He's done it before for us, you know!)

Anyway, he'd been talking to the Evening Standard recently,

When Mourinho wants me to do a job for him, I will do it.

I have got my energy back and I feel I can do a job for the team again. It was important for me to play a lot of games and prove my fitness. Now I have, I am happy to play wherever is best for the team.

Essien did a pretty serviceable, if not particularly flashy job in Spain and I'd like to think the experience there has set him on track to make a good case for a spot in the side here. He may not be an assured starter by any stretch of the imagination, but by all means, he should make a fine bench option. Plus, having a healthy, niggle-free Ess can never be great news for league opposition.

Mourinho didn't just stroll in with his hands in his pockets. He also brought a determined Bison back with him. Good to know.

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