Michael Essien has revealed how a phone call from Didier Drogba facilitated his move to Chelsea FC in 2005.
Essien, 35 secured an African transfer record move from Olympique Lyon to Chelsea FC in 2005, following a splendid campaign in the French Ligue 1- won the Player of the season.READ MORE: Ghana beat Benin 9-0
He has revealed that it was a call from Didier Drogba that set the tone for the most protracted football transfer of that season.
"The whole thing came about one afternoon while I was at Florent Malouda’s house, having a barbecue," the Ghanian tells us. Malouda was at Lyon with him.
"He got a call from Didier Drogba asking about me, and he said, “Oh, Michael is right here." He put him on the phone to me and that’s how everything started.
"It was a very long saga, that transfer, and very frustrating that it took so long because I really wanted to come to the Premier League. In the end we managed to come to an agreement and I was really excited when I first walked into the club at Chelsea.
"As I said, it was my dream to play in the Premier League and Chelsea showed a very big interest in me, so when the deal went through I was very happy. I came in and everything went well.
"I had two or three years with Lyon and it was good, I enjoyed myself and I still have some friends there," adds Essien.
"‘It was good for my career. Lyon is one of the biggest clubs in France and I remember when they came in for me, I just said yes straight away. I kept developing there and I got a big move to Chelsea."
READ MORE: Ghana Premier League to return in 2019
Three consecutive Ligue 1 titles pointed to domestic dominance, too, but when the new champions of England came calling in the summer of 2005, Essien couldn’t say no. He takes up the story.