Essien injury a big blow for Chelsea
CHELSEA midfielder Michael Essien will be out of action for between four and six weeks because of the knee injury he sustained at the African Cup of Nations.
Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed the absence yesterday ahead of his team’s FA Cup match at Preston.
Essien tore his meniscus during training with Ghana last Sunday and returned to Chelsea for treatment.
But Ancelotti said that if the club could cope with Essien’s absence at the African Cup of Nations, they can cope with him being injured.
“Maybe we lose him for one month,” Ancelotti said. “It’s not good news, but I think that we will do a good job again.”
Chelsea trail Arsenal only on goal difference in the Premier League and have a game in hand on the leaders.
Ancelotti said he does not want to sign a replacement during the January transfer window and denied rumors by British media that he was interested in signing former Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini from AC Milan – the club Ancelotti left at the end of last season.
“We don’t need to add,” Ancelotti said.
Ancelotti also expects Joe Cole to stay with the club despite the midfielder having not yet signed a new contract to replace the one that expires at the end of the season.
Cole is free to negotiate with other clubs and could leave on a free transfer.
Ancelotti says the England international is an important player but that he will not guarantee him a regular first-team place to entice him to sign.
Ancelotti asked yesterday “what manager can guarantee a place every game to a player? It is impossible.” – Sapa-AP
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