Former Arsenal and France attacker Robert Pires has named Michael Essien as the best African to play in the English Premier League.
Pires, who is in the country to promote the Barclays super fans campaign, revealed Essien is one of the finest players he ever faced.
“I played against him sometimes and he was very strong, very competitive and a very good player with impact, especially in his position. He had good technique too. You know if you play for Chelsea then it means you have quality and Michael Essien had talent and that’s why he was successful at Chelsea,” Pires told Pulse Ghana.
Pires was asked about the best African to have played in the England and he did not hesitate to pick the Ghanaian as the finest from the continent.
“Yes, I think so, because he was very, very good. And I repeat, for your country (Ghana), Michael Essien is a very good example for young players.”
Even though some of his peak years were denied him due to injury, Essien achieved enough during his career to be celebrated as one of Africa’s all-time greats. After moving to Chelsea from Olympique Lyonnais in a big-money move in 2005 and quickly became a lynchpin in Jose Mourinho’s side. Before moving onto Real Madrid—on loan—and then AC Milan, the Bison won two Premier League titles, the Champions League and a whopping four FA Cups with the Pensioners.