Milan chief Adriano Galliani has dismissed claims that Michael Essien has suffered from repeated injury problems.
Media reports had claimed that the midfielder had failed an initial medical ahead of his transfer to the Serie A outfit.
However Milan sporting director Adriano Galliani responded to such reports by insisting the Ghanaian international, who has agreed an 18-month deal, is perfectly fit.
“Essien is fit. All the rumours about his fitness are just urban myths, I don’t even know where they have come from,” Galliani told reporters.
“I directly followed all the medicals and they assured me that there has never been any problem.
“We thought our squad was good enough, then we faced a problem concerning our next Champions League game against Atletico Madrid.
“We won’t be able to field both [Riccardo] Montolivo and [Sulley] Muntari, so we looked for a suitable replacement and we agreed that Essien was the man.”
So, let’s take a look at Essien’s recent injury record to find out whether he is indeed an accident waiting to happen.
Season 2008-09: Missed 6 months through injury after sustaining anterior cruciate ligament damage.
Season 2009-10: Missed 6 months after picking up injury in the 2010 African Nations Cup – missed 2010 World Cup.
Season 2010-11: Season started brightly, but eventually missed two months through injury.
Season 2011-12: Ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus and missed 6 months of the season.
Season 2012-13: Relatively injury free in his one-season loan with Real Madrid.
Essien’s season with Madrid during which he had a relatively light playing schedule, does show that he is capable of playing for a sustained period without injury. However, looking at his historical record, it looks like Milan’s decision to offer him just an 18 month deal was a wise one. Sooner or later, but probably sooner, there will be another breakdown.