By Ameenu Shardow, follow on Twitter @alooameenu
Ghana midfielder Michael Essien got some few minutes of game time in Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Southampton on New Year’s Day as reports mount of his imminent departure.
The 30-year-old came on as a 85th minute substitute for Eden Hazard after the win had been secured at St. Mary’s.
Essien has only played three games in the English Premier League prior to Tuesday’s game – epitomizing his bit part role at Stamford Bridge since the start of the season.
The Ghana international is reportedly on his way out after eight seasons with the Blues.
The ex Olympique Lyon man could be farmed out on a loan deal until the end of the season but a permanent sale cannot be overruled.
Essien was not registered by Chelsea for the group stages of the Champions League – meaning he will not be cup tied if he decides to join any club that competes in Europe – a major attraction for elite clubs.
The Ghanaian has however been linked with an unlikely move to Middlesbrough where he could join Black Stars teammate Albert Adomah.