The 22-year-old had long been coveted by the English champions but the clubs were only able to reach an agreement this week. Essien, who has penned a five-year contract, said of what is a record fee involving a Ligue 1 player: "I know what I'm worth as a footballer and it's clear that I'm not worth €38m but that's football business and I'm not responsible for it.
'Dream come true'
"It was impossible for me to stay [at Lyon]. As soon as Chelsea expressed interest, I wanted to go there. I'm very excited to be joining Chelsea. It's a dream come true." The fee is more than the €37.5m Chelsea paid Olympique de Marseille for Didier Drogba a year ago.
Essien enjoyed an outstanding 2004/05 campaign, missing just one league match as Lyon cruised to a fourth consecutive title. The former SC Bastia player, who joined Lyon two summers ago on a five-year deal, was ever-present in the side's UEFA Champions League run, before their penalty shoot-out exit at the hands of PSV Eindhoven in the quarter-finals.
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