FIVE MORE YEARS FOR ESSIEN
Michael Essien has this afternoon (Monday) signed a new five-year contract, committing the 24-year-old to Chelsea until the end of 2011/12 season.
The Ghanaian is in his second season at Stamford Bridge and his value to the squad has been there for all to see.
José Mourinho has used the player for all but one match this campaign, a total of 46 appearances so far in a variety of positions in both midfield and defence.
After putting pen to the new deal, Essien said: 'It didn't take me long to decide to sign.
'I am really happy because I came here to stay a long time. I really work hard in training and do everything to succeed. I have the ambition to win a lot of trophies for the club.'
Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon added: 'It is great to have somebody like Michael, who has already made a huge contribution, commit for another five years.
'We spent a summer getting him, it wasn't easy, and it is nice to be on the next step.
'He is recognised as one of the new gems to have joined the Premiership. He is a big star back in Ghana and is a key man in Chelsea as well.
'Michael is young but we have already seen this season how important and versatile he has become. He enjoys London and he is settled. I know he is delighted to have signed and we are delighted to have him.'