Guess who’s (nearly) back for Chelsea: They sure have missed this guy!

Guess who’s back, back again as Eminem might sing. Sometimes the value of a player to a team isn’t realised until the said footballer is sidelined with a long-term injury, and the team flounder as a result.

However, Chelsea fans will have a big grin on their faces when they hear that Michael Essien is close to returning to action. The midfielder is arguably the best player in the entire squad and, while Jon Obi Mikel has tried to fulfil his defensive role in the middle of the park, there’s clearly no substitute for the real deal. Setanta reports that Guus Hiddink can’t wait to have him back in the side.

“He is developing very well, working very hard and has a very good attitude, a very open guy,” Hiddink told the club’s official website.

“We work with him in the recent days, five-a-side, eight-a-side and he will be available on short notice I think.

“Not now, but we plan to play him on Monday with the reserves at Aston Villa.”

With Hiddink steadying the Chelsea ship in the past fortnight, the return of Michael Essien can’t have come at a better time, with the midfielder sure to play some kind of role against Juventus in a fortnight’s time. Just how much have you missed the Ghanaian?

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