African legend leaves Ekstein's side

SA Players Abroad

Former Kaizer Chiefs star Hendrick Ekstein has lost his midfield partner after Ghana legend Michael Essien parted ways with Azerbaijani club Sabail.

In January, after impressing with Sabah in the Azerbaijan Premier League, Ekstein transferred to domestic rivals Sabail after being convinced by Essien to join the team, but their partnership has now been broken after the 37-year-old confirmed his departure from the club.

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Essien recently took to social media to announce that he would be leaving Sabail, bringing an end to his 16-month stay with the club he made 15 appearances for across all competitions.

"It's been a great pleasure. Until we meet again, stay strong and safe," the former Black Stars ace shared on Instagram.

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Ekstein previously revealed that a phone call from Essien had been instrumental in his decision to join the club from Sabah, and he enjoyed a good relationship with the veteran midfielder during their brief time together on the pitch.

Sabail were unbeaten in each of the four matches that Ekstein and Essien played at the same time, with both of the former Kaizer Chiefs star's goals this season coming when the Ghana legend was alongside him.

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