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Scolari Wants Essien Replacement


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Chelsea manager Luiz Filipe Scolari has hinted he will enter the transfer market to cover for the loss of injured midfielder Michael Essien.

Scolari told BBC London 94.9: "I have some ideas about this position. I said yesterday to Peter [Kenyon].

"He's trying to move something today, tomorrow or maybe next week."

Essien has been ruled out for around five months after suffering an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury while on World Cup duty with Ghana.

Defender Ricardo Carvalho admits the loss of Essien to a cruciate ligament injury will have a big impact on the team.

"Everyone will miss Essien, he's an important player for us and now we have to be with him and give him our comfort," Carvalho said.

"We'll try to help him because it's a difficult time for him."

The Portugal international added that he is glad he will not have to mark Manchester City's new £32.5m forward Robinho on Saturday as the Brazilian makes his debut against the Blues, the club he was close to joining last month.

"He plays more on the wing, so it will not be for me [to mark him], but it's difficult to play against him, he's a great player."

And Carvalho told BBC London 94.9 he holds no grudges about Robinho's decision to chose a move to Eastlands over Stamford Bridge: "We have to carry on and try to do our best.


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I think Mikel would be ahead of Appiah - bringing in someone like Appiah would be to provide cover more than anything. We will be playing a lot of games before Essien is fit again and Ballack has a tendency to pick up injuries somewhat willy nilly.

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Appiah is about 27 or 28 - he has played for Juve, Parma, Fenerbahce and Brescia - he is Ghana's captain

Mineiro is already approaching mid 30s - he has been around a bit as well but not at the same level - played for quite a while in South America and then went to Hertha berlin. Has played for Brazil 20 or so times and was called into the Brazil world cup squad as a late replacement for Edmilson in 2006 but never played.

Appiah is a far superior player but has had a lot of injury problems throughout his career. Falls into that over used bracket of a 'box to box midfielder' in the same way Essien does but not as good defensively as Essien but more creative than Essien.

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If we do sign him I doubt you will see him playing alongside Essien too often. He will play sometimes whilst Essien is injured but once he is back (and barring any major injuries to other players) Appiah will struggle to get many games.

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Still don't think we need either of them.

Mikel's back and Ballack's not too far off full fitness.

Scolari's done such a good job of trimming down a bloated squad over the summer, it would be a step backwards to make a panic signing just because we have lost one player.

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The search for a replacement for the injured Michael Essien appears to be heading in a new direction.

If the tabloids are right, Chelsea have moved away from the suggestion of signing a short term replacement and instead are thinking more long term.

Already we`ve discussed the options that Stephen Appiah and Minero might bring but now a much more recognisable name has appeared on the horizon, that of the Aston Villa player, Gareth Barry.

This morning it would appear that Appiah has ruled himself out after suggesting he wasn`t interested in a short term deal, preferring the comfort a three year deal would bring him, a deal that Portsmouth and West Ham are rumoured to be contemplating.

Therefore, it would appear that Luiz Felipe Scolari has instead revived his interest in a long term target, namely the aforementioned Gareth Barry.

Barry, linked with Liverpool in the summer, would, it is thought, be available for £18 million once the transfer window opens in January.

So the golden questions are,

- Would Gareth Barry jump at a chance to move to Chelsea?


- Do you think he`d be a good acquisition?

Maybe Phil liked what he saw with Barry and Frank in Zagreb? not a player I rate very highly although handy cover would he believe he would get games if our midfield were all fit?

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Definate no to Gareth Barry.

To start with, he would cost 20+ million pounds, and then who, exactly would he displace in the current squad? I would realistically see him behind Lamps, Ballack, Essien, Mikel and Deco in the pecking order.

What I think we do need to do is sign a youngster in January. Someone of Di Santo/Sinclair standard, who doesn't come with a multi-million pound pricetag, who is happy to play in the reserves, but can act as cover if we happen to lose 3 of our central midfielders at the same time (highly unlikely).

That is assuming that none current crop of youth central midfielders are quite up to scratch yet. I have always thought Woods was the most likely, but he doesn't seem to be starting the reserve matches at the moment.

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Strangely, I thought of going after Barry when I heard that we would definitely venture into the market, but I realized at once that it was an absurd venture. Outside of one good game in tandem with Frank, there is nothing that says he would be the right kind of player. I realized I was thinking like a dipper fan.

I dont know a think about Miniero, but I think getting Appiah is a little cautious. He might be a quality player, but im sure we have someone in the youth ranks that can fill in a game or two, and if Ballack is on the verge of coming back, then add him to Obi, you know Frank and Deco will be in the mix, and we're back to the same problem we had with too many midfielders.

I think we should just stand pat. We needed reinforcements out wide, or up front. Worry about that in January, cup ties be damned

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