Who will be Mourinho's "next Essien"

EyeInTheSky

Full Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2015
Messages
9,993
Location
On my sofa enjoying pineapple on its own
As the search for our next WC midfielder continues I got to thinking after watching the following clip and who you guys can see both on and off the pitch the next player that is most likely to become "Like a son" to Jose. I can't see anyone in the current squad that would fit that description but for those of you out there who are very tuned into potential signing and foreign leagues, I wanted to know your opinion on potential candidates. This is not so much who you want us to sign but who out there has that kind of character and spirit about them that would fit this profile?

 

Zlatattack

Full Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
Messages
4,823
I think that bromance he had, is probably limited to his first Chelsea side.
 

Oaencha

Full Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
2,067
That bond with Essien grew over many years so I wouldn’t expect Jose to be that close to any of our players yet (or ever).

He speaks very favourably of Matic but none of our players seem like they’re ready to die for the cause or their teammates.

Edit - Lukaku is a good shout.
 

Bastian

Full Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
8,806
I don't think there is that kind of player at the club. The closest to it is Matic. He of course got Essien at a young age from Lyon.
 

harms

Shining Star of Paektu Mountain
Staff
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
19,053
Location
Moscow
It would've been amazing to have someone of Essien's quality and skillset in a midfield three with Pogba and Matic.

Regarding the relationships with Jose — I think his bond with that Chelsea side was unique even for him, the way he and their squad proved the doubters wrong and showed that they are a truly formidable force in English/European football (and that his success with Porto wasn't a fluke)... after that Jose started from a different position with his new teams, as a superstar manager, and although he still had some amazing relationships (Materazzi, Ibra etc.), I doubt that they were as close as with Essien, Lampard, Drogba etc.

Of course what do I know though, looking from the outside and guessing.
 

abdo99

Full Member
Joined
May 26, 2016
Messages
12,089
Obviously Fellaini. Or maybe McTominay.
 
Last edited:

crossy1686

Full Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2010
Messages
11,044
Location
Stockholm, Sweden
That bond with Essien grew over many years so I wouldn’t expect Jose to be that close to any of our players yet (or ever).

He speaks very favourably of Matic but none of our players seem like they’re ready to die for the cause or their teammates.

Edit - Lukaku is a good shout.
The younger and stupider me was happy when Essien did his ACL in because he was well on course for becoming a Ballon d'Or winner at some point, he was immense. Looking back on it now, it's a shame a player of his quality was cut short in his prime due to a serious injury. What I would give to have him in our midfield now. Frightening.
 

simplyared

Full Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Messages
2,531
Location
somewhere ouside the UK
Very strong words from a manager to one of his former players. Not sure however if it is a good thing for a manager to be so emotional over a particular player. Also seeing the emotion he showed towards Materazzi on leaving Inter is obvious he had a soft spot for him as well. Obviously he favours players who work hard for him and buy into his system. Nothing wrong with that but you wonder how the other players feel who don't get the same attention.
I would imagine Lukaku is the player at utd who generates the same kind of emotion from Mourinho. Certainly not Pogba, Rashford, Martial and Shaw!
 

RooneyLegend

Full Member
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
9,440
Difficult to say with our current squad as our players each have their own faults. Jose loves faultless players which Essien 'defines', in our team i'm not seeing that sort of player, maybe Sanchez after hitting his stride will be that. Essien in terms of technical ability, technique, football brain, physical capabilities and mental fortitude just had it all. Have no idea where we could pick up players like that.
 

Oaencha

Full Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
2,067
The younger and stupider me was happy when Essien did his ACL in because he was well on course for becoming a Ballon d'Or winner at some point, he was immense. Looking back on it now, it's a shame a player of his quality was cut short in his prime due to a serious injury. What I would give to have him in our midfield now. Frightening.
He was an incredible player who bizarrely is still pretty underrated. Yeah, it was a massive shame his career was cut short. Our midfield would be immense if we had a peak Essien. 100m player without a doubt.
 

Brightonian

Full Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2012
Messages
12,379
Location
Juanderlust
God he was so good. I really hated Chelsea during Mou's first stint (on account of the whole 'beating us' thing, no doubt) but I loved to watch Essien and Drogba play regardless.
 

GaryLifo

Nice Bloke
Joined
Feb 26, 2001
Messages
7,101
Location
Davo thinks I'm weird
A player who would likely have played for united without the Russian buying Chelsea.

Allegedly he, Drogba and Cech were united targets that Kenyon ''took with him" when he joined Chelsea.
 

Lj82

Full Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2016
Messages
456
Location
Singapore
Never heard that before. Essien was well known to be a Man Utd fan though when he was younger. He said he even had trials with us but was rejected at that stage.
He wasn't rejected. He was not eligible for a work permit at that point in time.
 

Lj82

Full Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2016
Messages
456
Location
Singapore
Alongside Robben and Ronaldinho?
The Robben episode irritates me. He was ready to join us. But Kenyon didn't bid for him and wanted him to run his contract down. And then he bought him to Chelsea the same summer
 

Brwned

Have you ever been in love before?
Joined
Apr 18, 2008
Messages
47,650
The younger and stupider me was happy when Essien did his ACL in because he was well on course for becoming a Ballon d'Or winner at some point, he was immense. Looking back on it now, it's a shame a player of his quality was cut short in his prime due to a serious injury. What I would give to have him in our midfield now. Frightening.
He was an incredible player who bizarrely is still pretty underrated. Yeah, it was a massive shame his career was cut short. Our midfield would be immense if we had a peak Essien. 100m player without a doubt.
Would definitely love to have a player like him but the fact that he's being talked about as a potentially a Ballon d'Or winner and being underrated at the same time is mad. He made it onto the list twice, in 2006 and 2007. In 2006 he didn't even get one vote and in 2007 he got 5, compared to Kaká's 444. You could say there is a bias against midfielders of his type but he ranked behind Gattuso in both seasons. He was a PL favourite but he was never at that level.

Part of the reason he didn't even make it into the rankings in 2008 was because he wasn't even a guaranteed starter by that point. He started 27 league games in 05/06, 33 in 06/07 and 23 in 07/08. In their biggest game of the season he was played at right back because Makélélé, Lampard and Ballack were the preferred trio. If anything his career was stalling by the time he got that injury. He was never his team's best midfielder, never mind anything else.

His style appealed to a lot of folks but the reality is he never reached that level. It's only fuzzy memories with his epic goals against the likes of Barca - which came after the injury - playing an overly prominent role which create the impression he was.
 

crossy1686

Full Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2010
Messages
11,044
Location
Stockholm, Sweden
Would definitely love to have a player like him but the fact that he's being talked about as a potentially a Ballon d'Or winner and being underrated at the same time is mad. He made it onto the list twice, in 2006 and 2007. In 2006 he didn't even get one vote and in 2007 he got 5, compared to Kaká's 444. You could say there is a bias against midfielders of his type but he ranked behind Gattuso in both seasons. He was a PL favourite but he was never at that level.

Part of the reason he didn't even make it into the rankings in 2008 was because he wasn't even a guaranteed starter by that point. He started 27 league games in 05/06, 33 in 06/07 and 23 in 07/08. In their biggest game of the season he was played at right back because Makélélé, Lampard and Ballack were the preferred trio. If anything his career was stalling by the time he got that injury. He was never his team's best midfielder, never mind anything else.

His style appealed to a lot of folks but the reality is he never reached that level. It's only fuzzy memories with his epic goals against the likes of Barca - which came after the injury - playing an overly prominent role which create the impression he was.
You could be right, I just remember him being the heart of that Chelsea team, he was everywhere. Winning tackles, breaking with pace and power, making key passes. He was like a wall that you couldn't get past but also gave the likes of Lampard space for a shot or to pick a pass. He was was close to becoming a complete midfielder from what I remember.
 

Red4Life_#7

Full Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2014
Messages
730
Never heard that before. Essien was well known to be a Man Utd fan though when he was younger. He said he even had trials with us but was rejected at that stage.
No, we couldn't get a work permit for him at the time.