Former Ghana and Chelsea star Michael Essien has been appointed a Player-Coach at Danish top flight club FC Nordsjælland for the 2020/2021 season.
In a statement, Nordsjælland said Essien will assist Head Coach Flemming Pedersen and participate in training sessions.
Essien who has also spent time at Chelsea as part of his training to become a qualified coach will start his new role on Thursday.
In a Tweet, the former Real Madrid and AC Milan loanee said delighted to have joined Nordsjælland as part of the process to obtain his full coaching licence from the English FA.
“I am delighted to have joined FC Nordsjaelland coaching staff as part of my development towards my full coaching licence,” the 37-year-old posted on Twitter.
Essien joins compatriot Mas-Ud Didi Dramani (Transition coach) as Ghanaians on the coaching staff of Nordsjaelland.
A club statement said: “Essien will join the staff in an assistant role and participate in the training alongside the players to help implement the drills and ideas in the best possible way as well as contribute with new input to coaching group evaluations of the training session afterwards.”
Head Coach Flemming Pedersen said he was looking forward to working with Essien.
He said: “In the coaching staff we’ve experienced Michael Essien as both curious and hungry for knowledge before and after the training sessions, but at the same time also contributing and giving among the players during the training. His career and experience speak for themselves, but when you add his humble and giving personality, this is an exceptional opportunity for us to get a person added to the staff who can help make our environment, even more, developing for our players and also add valuable input to the coaching team and be our hand on the training pitch.
We are very much looking forward to welcoming Michael to FCN”.
Essien has also been welcomed by the club’s sports director Jan Laursen.
“Michael left a very positive impression here during his visit and we continued the dialogue with him after he had left,” Laursen said.
“We felt, he was excited by what he experienced here through our philosophy, the people he met at the club, and that our environment inspired him.
“At the same time, Michael’s visit gave us a clear impression of how much a coaching staff member on the pitch, as an active part of the training with the players, can contribute and add.
“That part we are really looking forward to further developing, and we are very happy that it can happen through and with such a football- and human capacity as Michael Essien is.
Nordsjælland is owned by Ghana’s Right to Dream Academy which was founded by Englishman Tom Vernon in Accra.