- Former Chelsea winger, Shaun Wright-Phillips, says the tempo at training rose when Essien arrived at Chelsea
- According to the ex-England international, they were made to train with shin pads because of Essien
- Michael Essien played for Chelsea between 2005 to 2014
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Former England winger, Shaun Wright-Phillips, has revealed that they were made to train with shin pads when Michael Essien arrived at Chelsea.
The former Black Stars player joined Chelsea in 2005, and according to Wright-Phillips, the tempo at training went a bit higher because of the aggressiveness of Essien.
In an interview with Bonus Finder, the former Chelsea and Manchester City player opened up on the impact of the Ghanaian at Chelsea.
"The tempo was completely different when I moved to Chelsea. There was a real step up in quality as well,” Wright-Phillips told Bonus Finder.
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"It only got worse when Michael Essien joined because Mourinho was at the point where he was thinking about getting the players to train with shin pads on.
“There was so many tackles flying in and training was really competitive so I don't think we would have blamed him if Mourinho made that decision.”
Michael Essien became one of the best Ghanaian players in the English Premier League, following his exploits with the Blues.
In his nine year spell with Chelsea, he won multiple titles including the English Premier League, the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League.
Essien followed Jose Mourinho to Real Madrid, where he spent a season on loan during the Portuguese gaffer's time in Spain.
He later played for AC Milan, Panathinaikos, Persib Bandung and Sabail.
These days, Michael Essien works as assistant coach at Danish Super Liga side, FC Nordsjaelland, as he continues to hone his skill of becoming a manager.
Earlier, YEN.com.gh reported that, On Friday, August 19, 2005 former Black Star midfielder, Michael Essien, made a move that changed his life and that of many Ghanaians too.
The bison, as he is affectionately cheered by many of his fans, joined English Premier League side Chelsea from Ligue 1 side Lyon.
Chelsea paid £24.4 million for the midfielder which was a record transfer for fee paid by the club and for an African player eclipsing the £24 million paid a year earlier for Ivorian Didier Drogba.