Michael Essien, recently seen playing for the World XI at Soccer Aid 2020 (back at Old Trafford after last year’s one-off venue shift to Stamford Bridge) has become the latest Chelsea star from the last couple decades to turn his attentions to coaching, becoming a “Player Coach” at FC Nordsjælland (NorthJellyBelly #NeverForget).
It’s unclear why they’ve insisted on adding “player” to coach in his title since it doesn’t look like he’s actually been added to their playing squad, but you can’t dictate rules to Vikings, man. Essien had first visited FCN a few weeks ago (see picture at the top), at which point discussions started for this new, continuing role.
“His career and experience speak for themselves, but when you add his humble and giving personality, this is an exceptional opportunity for us to get a person added to the staff who can help make our environment even more developing for our players and also add valuable input to the coaching team and be our hand on the training pitch. We are very much looking forward to welcoming Michael to FCN.”
-Flemming Pedersen, head coach; source: FCN
Essien, who’s been low-key working towards his coaching badges even as he traveled the world playing football (turning up in Greece, Indonesia, and Azerbaijan), will be using this opportunity to keep working on that personal goal, while also helping to implement and participate in the training sessions themselves. It’s a bit of an odd role, though we often see Lampard and Morris actively participate in training at Chelsea, so it’s probably just a more formal version of that paradigm.
In any case, best of luck, big man. Perhaps we’ll see you at the Bridge soon, too!