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The 30-year-old says having trials at Old Trafford a couple of times encouraged him to climb up the ladder in his football career

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has advised young English footballers never to cease working hard as he throws more light on how his trials at Man Utd influenced his career.

The Ghana player made the comment on the back of suggestions by some English pundits who are calling for a quota system to limit the number of foreign players in order to aid the development of British talents.

The Bison says he does not think the quota system is the optimal approach as natural talents will always come through despite the number of foreigners at a premier league club.

He used the likes of John Terry at Chelsea, Jack Wilshere at Arsenal and Everton’s Ross Barkley as reference points.

“Looking back to when I was a youngster coming through, I was on the road from the ages of 16 – 17 trialing at European clubs. I had two trials with Sir Alex at Manchester United when I was a kid before settling at Bastia. Hard work ensured I developed the skills I had and I was always looking to improve,” Essien asserted in his monthly blog on Chelsea’s website.

“Having played across Europe at a young age, I do believe this helped my development. This is why I think competitions such as last year’s NextGen and the recently launched UEFA Youth League are great for the experience of young players, “the former Lyon star revealed.

Essien who spent last season on loan at Real Madrid is one of Africa’s best midfielders to grace the sport.