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The midfielder says his move was sparked by a dearth of opportunities at Stamford Bridge and revealed his friendship with Clarence Seedorf played a role in his switch.

Michael Essien has revealed he left Chelsea for AC Milan as he wasn’t getting enough game time under manager Jose Mourinho.

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The Ghana international, who has made just 12 appearances in all competitions for the Blues this season, spent eight-and-a-half years with the Premier League club before joining the Italian giant on a 17-month deal.

“Why did I play so few games this season? I don't know, it was Mourinho's decision,” Essien told reporters. "I know in Serie A the atmosphere is not as hot as in England, but it doesn't matter to me, as long as I play and we win matches.”

The 31-year-old is looking forward to playing under Clarence Seedorf at the San Siro, while he has also revealed that Mourinho helped persuade him to move to Milan.

"I'm very honored to be at AC Milan, I'm a good friend of [Sulley] Muntari and Kakà and I already know Seedorf," he said. “When I spoke to Clarence it was very easy to make my decision, I haven't the desire of going anywhere else. Mourinho told me a lot about Milano, he told me I will settle easily.

“When you join a club like AC Milan, you don't talk about target, you already know you have to go for the best. This isn't probably the best season in the history of AC Milan, but we'll do our best to win as much games as possible. My shirt number will be 15. I'm fit to play, all I have to do is train hard and remain at Seedorf's disposal.

“I don't know Seedorf as a coach, I know he's been a great player but I'm sure he'll do as well on the bench.”

During his time at Chelsea, Essien won two Premier League titles, the Champions League, a League Cup and four FA Cups.

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