Michael Essien: Ghana legend reveals how he ditched Liverpool to sign for Chelsea

Michael Essien in full flight for Chelsea.

Michael Essien: Ghana legend reveals how he ditched Liverpool to sign for Chelsea

Izuchukwu Akawor 14:28 - 24.12.2023

Ghana legend Michael Essien has explained that he visited and almost joined Liverpool before settling for Chelsea.

Ghanaian football legend Michael Essien has detailed how he almost joined Liverpool before settling for Premier League rival Chelsea.

Essien unveiled this untold story according to a report from the Daily Star as the former midfield star went down memory lane on an interview on Instagram Live. 

Essien reveals Liverpool link

The former Ghana international became one of the unstoppable forces behind Chelsea’s successes under the watchful eyes of legendary manager, Jose Mourinho.

For 10 years, the defensive midfielder, known for scoring excellent long-range goals, stood out in the middle third for the Blues as they went on to win titles.

Michael Essien in full flight for Chelsea.

With the Ghanaian in midfield, Chelsea won two Premier League titles, one Champions League, three FA Cups and a League Cup.

However, things could have turned out differently for the former Real Madrid had he chosen Chelsea’s Premier League rivals, Liverpool, instead. 

Essien won two Premier League titles with Chelsea.

In an interview on Instagram Live through Daily Star, Essien revealed that he came close to going the Reds and also visited Anfield before Chelsea came calling two years later.

“I had a lot of offers,” he stated. “I was close to signing for Liverpool when Gerard Houllier was their coach. I even went to Melwood to meet the coach.

Jose Mourinho became Chelsea manager in 2004 and signed Essien from Lyon.

“We had a talk, and I returned to France, but the offers were still coming from PSG, Marseille and a few others. But, I told Bastia I didn’t want to move, and they also didn’t want to sell me at that time because they wanted me to stay for another year, which was fine with me.”

Essien joined Lyon thereafter, making 70 appearances in two years before he finally left for England.

Gerard Houlier tried to sign Essien at Liverpool. (Photo Credit:Enock Ivan/X)

“I thought it was too early to move to England,” he added. “That was why I joined Lyon and later moved to Chelsea under Mourinho. Lyon was my favourite team when I went to France because they were winning everything. I told my agent that if Lyon have come into the picture, I’d like to join them.”

The Ghanaian star helped Lyon to back-to-back Ligue 1 titles and was also named Player of the Year before he departed for England. 

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