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Essien pens new Blues deal
22 Jul 2008 - 09:20:35
Chelsea have secured the long-term future of Michael Essien at Stamford Bridge after handing the midfielder a new five-year contract.
The Ghana international has followed team-mates Wayne Bridge and Petr Cech in putting pen to paper on new deals after agreeing to remain with the club until summer 2013.
Goalkeeper Cech and left-back Bridge have agreed new five and four-year deals respectively with the Blues in recent days.
"I am really pleased to have extended my contract with Chelsea," Essien told the club's official website.
"I am very happy here. We have a great team and fantastic fans who have always made me welcome.
"With the addition of the new manager, I am feeling very positive about the season ahead."
Essien joined Chelsea in a £24million deal from French champions Lyon in 2005 and has made 143 appearances in all competitions for the club.
The 25-year-old has also built a reputation as one of the best defensive midfielders in world football during his time in the Premier League.
New coach Luiz Felipe Scolari added: "I have not been here long but it is clear to me that Michael Essien is one of the best midfield players in the world.
"I have always admired him and it is good news for me and for Chelsea that he signs for so long."