SUNDERLAND ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: Kieran Richardson of Sunderland falls under the challenge of Michael Essien of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Chelsea at the Stadium of Light on February 1 2011 in Sunderland England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
It's been being rumored all day, and now we have the official word. Chelsea FC have confirmed that we'll be sending Michael Essien on loan to Real Madrid. The loan will be of the season long variety, and the Bison will now be reunited with Jose Mourinho.
I've got to say, this is the first time since Michael Emenalo took over that I've really had to question one of his decisions. Why Essien was allowed to leave I just don't know. Maybe more will come out in the coming weeks about why this move has happened, but to me it just makes very little sense. Chelsea will now be relying on John Obi Mikel, Oriol Romeu, Raul Meireles, and Frank Lampard as their primary options in the double pivot. That group might be adequate, but it look awfully thin to me.
I suppose this also brings into a bit of question the roles of both Ramires and Oscar. Ramires just hasn't looked right on the wing yet this season, although that might simply be a by-product of trying to get some chemistry with his new teammates. Oscar is one that many of us think will eventually move deeper anyway, and this move may hasten that transition. We'll likely break this down more in the coming days, but for now let's all wish Essien the best in La Liga.