Chelsea star Michael Essien has revealed he was snubbed twice by Manchester United as a youngster due to fears about his size.
Essien, 27, has developed at Stamford Bridge into one of the finest defensive midfielders in the game since making the move from Lyon five years ago. It could have been a very different story, however, with the then teenager being trialled at United on repeat occasions.
Speaking to Match of the Day magazine, Essien stated manager Sir Alex Ferguson turned him down as he didn’t see the physical power that would make him garner the label ‘The Bison’.
He said: “I had two trials at United, but I was seen as too small.
“I think Sir Alex was looking for a certain type of player and I wasn’t the one then.”
Essien also described his contentment living in London and how this happiness has benefited his game.
“I love the city of London, as there’s always something different to do,” he continued.
“People are friendly here and they’ve always been good to me – that’s what I love about England.”