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19.02.2009 Football News

Kalou relishes Essien return

					Kalou relishes Essien return

ESSIEN IS KEY FOR CHELSEA Chelsea's Ivorian midfielder Salomon Kalou has emotionally spoken of how Ghana international Michael Essien has been sorely missed at Stamford Bridge for the past five months since rapturing an anterior cruciate knee ligament.

Essien,who is regarded as one of the best midfielders in the English Premier League, started training with his mates at the Cobham ground early this week.

He has been scheduled to fight for a first team place next month under caretaker manager Guus Hiddink.

Kalou, voted Caf's Africa Young Player of Year last week,remains optimistic that Essien's speedy recovery can overturn the fading title aspirations.

"We need Essien, we missed him a lot and he's probably one of my best team mates at Chelsea," Kalou told

"I'm praying for him everyday and I hope he will be back and I think player like Essien in the team he's always important.

"So I make my sister prepare some Ivory Coast food so then he will eat and heal quickly so he can return to play."

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