Chelsea let Essien and Benayoun leave on loan

Chelsea ended the transfer window by allowing two of their fringe players, Michael Essien and Yossi Benayoun, to leave the club on loan, the Guardian has reported. The pair each face a reunion of sorts at their new clubs, with Essien going to Real Madrid under Jose Mourinho, the manager who brought him to the Premier League, and Benayoun returning to West Ham, his first club in English football.

Essien was signed by Madrid as midfield cover after the club allowed Lassana Diarra – another former Chelsea player – to move to Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala late in the transfer window. The Ghanaian’s season-long loan deal interrupts a Chelsea career that dates back to 2005 but has been interrupted lately by a string of serious injuries, although Essien is reported to be fit and ready to play now.

Benayoun, meanwhile, spent last season on loan at Arsenal after falling out of favour under former Chelsea Head Coach Andre Villas-Boas. Despite returning to Chelsea this summer Benayoun could not break into the plans of Roberto Di Matteo and was allowed to cross London to return to the Hammers, five years after leaving Upton Park for Liverpool.

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