Ancelotti worked with Essien at Chelsea.
"He is 31 years of age so has plenty of time for his great career to continue with us.
"I spoke with Carlo Ancelotti about Essien who spoke really well about him and this was one of the reasons why we chose to bring him to the club. Clarence Seedorf was also eager to sign Essien.
"This decision came about because of the suspension to Riccardo Montolivo and Sulley Muntari in the Champions League matches. This led us to bring in another midfielder who could play in the Champions League."
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