Arsenal Transfer Report: Gunners Interested in Michael Essien

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIAugust 31, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 13:  Michael Essien of Chelsea in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Blackburn Rovers at Stamford Bridge on May 13, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

On the final day of the summer transfer window, Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien, either on loan or a permanent deal.

Latest reports out of England and the United States have linked the Gunners with a move for Essien, who was widely expected to make an £8 million transfer to Turkish club Fenerbahce this summer. However, according to ESPN, Arsenal are believed to be making an offer for Essien that would keep him in London for at least another season.

Arsenal are reportedly set to make a deadline-day swoop for Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien. Widespread reports in the English press on Thursday evening claim the Ghana international has been targeted by Arsene Wenger.

The Gunners boss is believed to be in the market for a central midfielder following the sale of Alex Song to Barcelona.

Reports suggest Wenger expressed to the Blues an interest in loaning Essien for the current season, similar to the deal which saw Yossi Benayoun move from Stamford Bridge last campaign.

Essien has been at Stamford Bridge since making a move to the club in 2005 from Lyon, and has made over 160 appearances for the European champions.

However, with the arrival of Eden Hazard, Marko Marin and Oscar, Essien's place in Chelsea's squad this season was always going to be under pressure—particularly with players like Frank Lampard, John Obi Mikel, Juan Mata, Ramires and Ryan Bertrand all vying for a spot in the Blues' midfield.

The 29-year-old is yet to make an appearance this season (per WhoScored).

The Sun suggests that Chelsea could be willing to deal with the Gunners given the recent success of Yossi Benayoun's loan to the North London club last season. And if Arsenal are willing to cover the £100,000 per week salary that Essien is currently on, they could well land the Ghana international over the summer transfer window.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is giving little away about what the club will do on the transfer deadline day—telling The Telegraph (h/t Goal) that he is happy with the squad that he has and content with the players he has available to him.

I am relaxed, we have enough players, that is for sure, but you want always to improve your squad. 

We have resources available so if it is not happening now it will happen in December. But we believe strongly that we have the quality in our squad to do very well. Getting our injured players back is the best way for us to strengthen the squad.

We do not just want to bring average players in.

Spending in itself is not a quality. Buying good players is a quality, better players than you have is a quality.

Whether or not Arsenal end up signing Essien will seemingly depend on a number of other factors—the least of which being what other moves the Gunners and Blues make on the final day of the transfer window.

Arsenal look likely to retain Theo Walcott this summer (per Sky Sports), while Chelsea are believed to be in the process of wrapping up a deal with Andre Schurrle (per The Sun). The outcome of those moves—and any other transfers that the London club attempt—will give us a better understanding of whether Essien is indeed on his way to the Emirates.

If I had to make a call, I'd lean towards a yes on this one.

Essien has proven experience and success in the English Premier League and would be a good addition to the Gunners, especially given their current injury concerns and the sale of Alex Song to Barcelona.

He isn't going to take the spotlight at the Emirates, nor is he going to be a bad fit with the likes of Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta in the Gunners' midfield.

Take him for a year on loan and see what happens.

It certainly isn't the most stupid rumor floating around at the moment.


Will Michael Essien make a move to Arsenal on deadline day?

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