Ghana midfielder Afriyie Acquah has hailed the impact of Michael Essien in his thriving career in the Italian top flight with Parma.
The 22-year-old has been impressive on his return to Serie-A following a seasonâ€™s-long loan move from German club TSG Hoffenheim.
Acquah has grabbed serious attention with his consistent displays in the Italian top flight.
The ex Ghana youth star has overcome a spate of injuries and bad form to become one of the in-form players in Italy.
The former Palermo man has however credited his rise to stardom to the meteoric rise of Michael Essien during his most efficient days at Chelsea.
â€œEssien has inspired me a lot. During his days at Chelsea, I used to watch him and pick a lot from his game. He is strong and does well even without the ball; he has enjoyed the game with a lot of success,"Â he toldÂ Footy Ghana.
â€œI picked a lot from that during his time in England and now that he is in Italy, things got easier for me.
â€œWe speak and he is like a big brother to me; his advices help me a lot. I always want to pick something new from the experienced players like him and the rest of the Ghanaian players.â€
Acquah hopes to win a place in the Ghana team for the 2014 World Cup this June in Brazil.