EXCLUSIVE: This is a transitional season for Chelsea – Michael Essien

Michael Essien says Chelsea are in a "transitional" period but insists the Blues cannot be written off in the hunt for silverware

Alex Sharp
By Alex Sharp    
michael essien
Michael Essien joined Real Madrid on a season-long loan last summer Photo: The Sport Review

michael essien

Michael Essien believes Chelsea are in a “transitional” period but insists the Blues are well-placed to pick up some silverware to cap a turbulent season at Stamford Bridge.

The west Londoners, who take on Rubin Kazan in the Europa League quarter-finals, bounced back from their 2-1 Premier League defeat at Southampton by edging into the FA Cup semi-finals at the expense of Manchester United on Monday.

And Essien, who won four FA Cups with Chelsea before heading out on loan to Real Madrid this term, insists Rafael Benítez’s men should not be underestimated as they look to end the season with some silverware.

“They can still win trophies in the cups this season so people shouldn’t write them off yet,” Essien told The Sport Review.

“I have followed Chelsea all season, and although it hasn’t been as planned at the start of the season, I think it’s down to the fact it is a transitional season.”

Essien refused to point the finger at interim boss Benítez, who took over from Roberto Di Matteo back in November, and insisted that a new-look squad, coupled with the loss of players such as talismanic striker Didier Drogba, are the main factors behind Chelsea’s struggles this term.

“A lot of the players from the past are not there and there are new players,” the 30-year-old continued.

“It takes time to blend all of them and create a team straight away. I am sure over time the team will know each other very well and the good times will be back.”

Regarding his own future, Essien appears to be set for a return to west London following his year in the Spanish capital.

He added: “I have a contract at Chelsea and at present I am only on loan here [at Real Madrid], so nothing has changed.”

Find out about Michael Essien’s foundation here

MORE: Arsenal, Chelsea, Man United and Liverpool stars among players out of contract in 2018

MORE: Seven reasons why Chelsea must keep Cesc Fabregas

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Back to The Sport Review homepage

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Chelsea, Arsenal stars feature – Slideshow
The Sport Review
20 Chelsea transfer targets Antonio Conte could sign in the summer
The Sport Review
Top 25 Muslim football players in Premier League: Arsenal, Liverpool, Man United and Chelsea stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal WAGs 2017: Meet Granit Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s wives and girlfriends
The Sport Review
Roberto Firmino: 25 photos of the Liverpool forward’s stunning wife
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal, Chelsea, Man United and Liverpool stars among 16 players out of contract in 2018
The Sport Review
Monte-Carlo Masters 2017: History man Rafael Nadal makes it 10 in Monaco and 50 on clay
The Sport Review
Gary Neville reacts to Anthony Martial’s display in Man United’s 2-0 win at Burnley
The Sport Review
Fed Cup 2017: Watson and Konta beaten by Romania in bid for World Group place