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Former Chelsea player Essien speaks on competition at Stamford Bridge

02:19 GMT+3 26/12/2018
Michael Essien Chelsea
The Ghanaian shares his thoughts on the situation at his former club amid exit rumours of a host of names

Chelsea legend Michael Essien believes that limited playing time could force some top players out of the club's current set-up.

Centre-back Andreas Christensen is reportedly considering a move to Barcelona, having been reduced to a bench-warmer under new coach Maurizio Sarri, while the likes of Alvaro Morata, Cesc Fabregas, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Gary Cahill, Danny Drinkwater, Victor Moses, and teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi are all said to be reconsidering their future at Stamford Bridge due to limited opportunities.

“Every player wants to play,” Essien told the Express.

“Chelsea isn’t an easy place to come and the competition is very fierce.

“At the end of the day, all the players work but it’s the manager who will pick who he wants to play.

“When you’re not playing you get frustrated and you want to look elsewhere.

“It’s up to them really but they have to keep working and then everyone gets their chance.”

Essien spent nine years with Chelsea between 2005 and 2014, winning the Uefa Champions League title with the Blues in 2012.

The Accra-born also won the Premier League trophy on two occasions, the FA Cup title four times, the Community Shield twice and the League Cup once.

He netted 25 times for Chelsea. His ferocious left-footed volley against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final in 2009 was recently voted as his best by fans of the London-based club.

Essien also played for some other top European sides including Real Madrid, AC Milan, and Olympique Lyonnais.