Essien: Man United turned me down twice

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has revealed he was snubbed twice by Manchester United as a youngster due to concerns about his size.

Essien described how the Red Devils' boss Sir Alex Ferguson turned him down as he didn't think the then teenage battler had enough physical power, an attribute which has led to Essien earning the nickname 'The Bison'.

The 27-year-old, who has developed into one of the finest defensive midfielders in the game since joining the Blues from Lyon five years ago, told Match of the Day magazine "I had two trials at United, but I was seen as too small.

"I think Sir Alex was looking for a certain type of player and I wasn’t the one then."

Runaway Premier League leaders Chelsea have won all five of their league games, notching 21 goals in the process and conceding just one.

And Essien revealed how his love for living in London has benefited his game.

"I love the city of London, as there’s always something different to do.

"People are friendly here and they’ve always been good to me – that’s what I love about England."

Chelsea, who were knocked out of the Carling Cup in midweek when Newcastle came from behind to record a 4-3 victory at Stamford Bridge, face Manchester City at Eastlands this Saturday.

By Vaishali Bhardwaj

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