Chelsea legend Michael Essien was spotted at the Bridge on Monday, but the immediate assumption was that he was here just to visit and take in the festivities of the first match of the season against West Ham United.
The now 33-year-old Essien isn't quite retired yet however, though he's currently unattached after agreeing to terminate his contract early at Panathinaikos. The midfielder made only 15 appearances last season for the Greek outfit, battling injuries and form for most of the season, after doing much the same the previous two seasons at Chelsea and AC Milan.
Injuries of course have been as much of a defining factor throughout Essien's career as his once unparalleled combination of physicality and skill, but it would appear that he's still trying to give it a go and he's come back to Chelsea not just to visit but perhaps to also try to get back into fighting shape. On Wednesday, alongside several fringe players and youngsters, he even participated in a closed-doors friendly at Cobham against a Brentford B side, which featured former Chelsea hopeful Josh McEachran, also fresh off (another) season full of injuries.
There's no word about this game on Chelsea's official website as of yet and Brentford's write-up does not include the full Chelsea lineup. They do reveal that Dominic Solanke (scorer of one goal), Lucas Piazon, Kenneth Omeruo, Patrick Bamford, Christian Atsu, Kenedy, and Loic Remy (scorer of the other goal) all played in addition to 'The Bison'. Interesting to see Remy among the "loan group", especially as he's the de facto third striker for the first-team at the moment.