Ghana midfielder Michael Essien has completed his move from Premiership side Chelsea to Italian giants AC Milan.

According to an official statement from Chelsea, Essien successfully passed medicals and sealed the transfer Monday, January 27, 2014.

The move brings down the curtain on the Ghanaian's eight and a half years as one of our players, a period which saw him play a crucial role during the most successful time in the club's history. He moves on having won two Premier League titles, the Champions League, four FA Cups and one League Cup.

Speaking about the departure, Jose Mourinho said: 'To show Michael respect is to not stop him going. We would have been happy had he stayed because he is fantastic player for the team, but he's given everything for the club and a great chance arrived for his future.

'I know he can continue to play at a high level and I wish him success and happiness in Italy and at the World Cup in Brazil,' Mourinho said.

Essien signed for Chelsea from Lyon in the summer of 2005 and made a total of 256 appearances for the Blues with 33 of them as a substitute. He scored 25 goals.

He epitomised the 'team player', with his versatility marking him out as an integral member of the squad.

Essien missed a large chunk of the 2008/09 season after damaging a cruciate ligament while away on international duty with Ghana, but he returned with the campaign edging towards its conclusion.