It turns out earlier reports on Michael Essien’s possible move to Croatian side Rijeka, were mere unfounded rumors. Former Chelsea star Michael Essien has sealed a one-year deal with Indonesian side Persib Bandung. This was after he was reported to be in talks for a possible move to Croatian side Rijeka.
Signing the deal on Tuesday, the legendary footballer was handed his iconic No.5 jersey at his new club Persib Bandung. Essien signed the deal on a 800,000 Euros a year salary; for one season. There is an option to extend his contract till 2018 should he prove himself in his expected role as the chief playmaker for the team.
This makes Michael Essien the highest paid player in the Ligue 1, as well as the biggest name to play in the Indonesia top-flight league this season. His new club, Persib Bandung announced the new transfer on Monday.
This will indeed be a resurrection of his football career following the spell after his controversial exit from Greek side Panathinaikos. The 34-year-old defensive midfielder has been without a club since he left the Greek club.
Essien’s Controversial Exit From Panathinaikos
The 34-year-old was in a legal battle with the Greek side after he filed a case for 651,000 as severance package. Essien who claimed he was released without his consent by the Greek giant, sought the payment of his entire money from his remaining one-year contract with them.
Michael Essien had reached an agreement at the start of the season to leave Panathinaikos after just one season with the giants. Having one year left, the defender had indicated that the previously agreed payment of 91, 250 euros was not honoured for six months, which caused him to take a legal action against the club. His lawyers had reported the Panathinaikos authorities to the football authorities of Greece.
With controversy heating up, Panathinaikos revealed their reason for taking such decision. The Greek giants expressed disappointment over the fact that the Ghana international did not meet up to expectation during his time at the club. From the side of the Panathinaikos authorities, Michael Essien’s stay at the side was marred by series of injury.
According to the Panathinaikos team, since his entry into the club in June 2015; the midfielder sustained so much injury, leading to his being benched regularly at the club’s clashes. Essien according to them had become very idle at the club; having played only 17 games out of 45.
It was also revealed that Michael Essien had scored only a goal out of the 13 league games he played at the side. This had left the club tremendously disappointed especially as he was their highest paid player at the time -with an annual salary of 800,000 euros.
After much ado, an agreement was finally reached, with the involvement of sports authorities. Per the agreement, Essien was freed and the remaining money was to be given to him. Panathinaikos also have no benefits from his new deal with Indonesian side Persib Bandung.
About Michael Essien
Michael Essien last played for Greek side Panathiaikos and the Ghana national team. His career started with the Ghana -Under 17 team, the Back Starlets; when he played in the 1999 U-17 World Championship in New Zealand and won the bronze medal. The defender who is known for his dashing skills on the pitch, also has a tough tackling style, a stunt which earned him the nickname “the Bison”.
Michael Essien won the Chelsea Goal of the Season Award twice -2006/07 and 2008/09 seasons, among other accolades. Find out more about Essien here.