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Chelsea midfielder Essien: Man Utd trials set me on my way

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has a simple message for English youngsters wanting to make it in football - work hard.

The Ghana ace wrote for chelseafc.com: "Looking back to when I was a youngster coming through, I was on the road from the ages of 16 - 17 trialing at European clubs. I had two trials with Sir Alex at Manchester United when I was a kid before settling at Bastia. Hard work ensured I developed the skills I had and I was always looking to improve.

"Having played across Europe at a young age, I do believe this helped my development. This is why I think competitions such as last year's NextGen and the recently launched UEFA Youth League are great for the experience of young players."

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