Ex-Chelsea midfielder was left out of goal.com‘s team of the decade with Kante, Lampard, and Mata making up the midfield trio.
The Ghanaian international joined the Blues from Lyon for a fee of £24.4 million in the summer of 2005 and went on to become a formidable force in the midfield.
Essien wore the number 5 jersey and played 168 games, scoring 17 times including rockets against Arsenal and Barcelona.
Check out Michael Essien’s Chelsea career statistics:
#ThrowbackThursday: Michael Essien, what a joy to watch!
Essien’s #PL numbers
👕 168 games played
👏 113 games won
⚽ 17 goals
🅰 10 assists
👟 9152 passes
💪 363 tackles
— BestBet360 (@BestBet360) October 10, 2019
Watch some of his goals at Chelsea:
After the release, fans took to social media to express their surprise with the midfield dynamo’s exclusion.
No Michael Essien??? https://t.co/rHcOqdC0b9
— ebenezer enos (@midnaitmiki) October 15, 2019
Where is Michael Essien??
— Greg Madaki (@madakigreg) October 15, 2019
@MichaelEssien deserves the spot much more than Mata…
— THE BLESSING U MISSING (@afrane1stavo) October 15, 2019
Must have been easy leaving out Michael Essien and Ricardo Carvalho. Essien particularly was built like a house in that Jose Mourinho empire.
— Rahman osman (@iamrahmanosman) October 15, 2019
— Dep.Min.For Energy 🇬🇭 (@shikome_1) October 15, 2019
Although fans are upset, the prime years of the former Chelsea player were not from 2009 but rather from 2005 when he joined the club to 2008.
The last years of his stay at the Stamford Bridge were characterized by injuries and unfitness.
He was later loaned to Real Madrid under the leadership of Jose Mourinho, a man who brought the best out of him after signing him for the Blues.