Chris Hughton declared that he has always been a big supporter of the midfielder and that he contributed greatly to Chelsea’s rise to the top of the Premier League.
“Michael Essien is the all-time best Ghanaian football player in my opinion. One, I saw him a lot when he played because he was in London, Hughton told TV3.
“I had the pleasure of seeing him a few times and speaking with him, but he was a very key player in what was, in my opinion, the turnaround in what we are seeing today at Chelsea,” I said.
Following his breakthrough season with Lyon, where he won two Ligue 1 championships, Essien had a trophy-laden career that lasted over 15 years.
He set a new record for Chelsea when the club paid £24.4 million to acquire him from Lyon in 2005.
He stayed at Stamford Bridge for nearly ten years, assisting the Blues to numerous Premier League and FA Cup triumphs as well as the UEFA Champions League in 2012.
The midfielder for Ghana was a member of the group that helped the Black Stars reach their first World Cup in 2006.
Essien resigned from the national team with 59 caps and nine goals, and he also participated in several AFCON competitions.