South African midfielder Hendrick Ekstein has revealed that Chelsea legend Michael Essien's move to Sabail FK motivated his move to Azerbaijan, Ghanasoccernet reported.
Ekstein joined Sabah FK as a free agent in 2019 following his exit from Absa Premiership side Kaizer Chiefs.
The 29-year-old eventually left the club to join Sabail FK after scoring three goals from 13 appearances.
“I think Azerbaijan is a good country, a clean and nice place with good people and no racism. So I am very happy to come here. I think what really made me come here was the fact that Michael Essien is here, so I said why not; if Michael Essien is here, let me come here and see what is going on,” Ekstein told Offside Plus.
“When I first got here (Sabail FK) he was the one who first welcomed me in the hotel and he said to me thanks for coming to the team so that I can help the team.
"Although it was Sabail who wanted me first when I can to Azerbaijan, I joined Sabah and later the coach of Sabail kept on calling my agent, so I decided to come to Sabail since Essien is here and I want to play with him.”
“I am happy to play with such a legend which is Michael Essien and playing with him helps us a lot. We are learning a lot from him because he controls everything. I am happy to be here.”