Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien insists that he will never drop out of the African Cup of Nations, but conceded that it would be a “massive blow” for Jose Mourinho. Essien said:
“I am aware of the tension it causes, but I am happy and honoured to play in the tournament for Ghana,”
Chelsea could potentially lose 4 first team players for the African Nations cup, and face having the heart of their midfield ripped out with Essien and Mikel handing the reigns over to Ginger Steve Sidwell, Arsenal could also equally be hit losing 4 players themselves and forcing them to play Englishmen.
The New Year is such a vitally important part of the season, and these grievous losses to these squads could hurt these two London teams badly. The ANC could easily have a significant impact on the Premier League title race, but these managers knew that when they signed the player.
Not that these two are the only clubs to be damaged by this cup; if Everton as expected sign Yakubu, they will be robbed of a defensive ever-present (Yobo) AND their star striker. Not good for a squad with big aspirations, but still a rather thin squad.