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Soccer News Tue, 7 Feb 2006

I could easily have been a Liverpool player -Essien

CHELSEA'S Ghana international Michael Essien has revealed he could have been a Liverpool player had it not been for work permit problems three years ago.

Essien, then with Corsican side Bastia, said: "It is true. I could have joined Liverpool when Gerard Houllier was there. I went to see their training ground and to watch their games but obviously I didn't go there.

"At that point it was difficult for me to get my work permit, so I preferred to stay in France."

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Essien moved on to Lyon and in another strange twist Houllier took over as manager of the French side in the summer of 2005.

But one of his first jobs was to sell Essien to Chelsea for ?24.4million as the newly-crowned Premiership champions looked to build on their first title success for 50 years.

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