I wouldn't call essien a leader, he won't be the alpha dog cisse was. He is a team player and a very good one at that and will thrive only if utilized well. In short, he will require the right team mates. Even if his salary suggests it, we shouldn't view him as an attacking or creative outlet but if you were to put players of this nature around him, then i think we will see his true quality. A healthy Essien knows his strengths and weakness and what he can bring to a team, the question is whether his manager knows him well enough. Mourinho got the best out of him for this exact reason. Think of essien as a very important piece of a puzzle, but to complete the puzzle you will require upgrades elsewhere. Financially we are not in the position we once were but If we were to sign abeid in the near future, then this signing will make a lot more sense.