APPIAH NOT UNDER PRESSURE

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Former Ghana captain Stephen Appiah has requested the media not to put pressure on AC Milan midfielder Michael Essien, who recently sealed the free transfer to the Italian club. Essien is regarded as one of the best players to have represented in the Ghana National team over the last few decades. However, he has suffered from a succession of injury problems over the last five years and it has prevented him from featuring for the national team on a regular basis. In the last few years, though, he has been making a solid comeback from the injury troubles.

This led to him leaving Chelsea in the January transfer window to AC Milan in the hope of playing regular football. It has also boosted the Ghana National team, who have qualified for the World Cup 2014. Since Ghana will be in a tough group containing the likes of Germany and Portugal, the country would want to take all of its star names in the hope of qualifying to the knockout stages. Even though Essien is one of them, Appiah says that it will be awhile before the 30-year-old returns to his best.

The midfielder has made just seven appearances since joining the Italian outfit in the January transfer window.

“I have no doubt that Essien will find his rhythm. He is the type who never gives up and very soon Michael will return to his previous form. When players get injured it takes time and in Michael’s case he has gone under the knife several times so people need to understand his situation. The fans must exercise patience. Mike will bounce back and I believe it will be soon,” Appiah told Goal Ghana. Since making his debut in 2002, Essien has featured in 52 appearances for the national team and scored nine goals.