The Ghanaian believes the Blues have become very competitive under Thomas Tuchel and only sees them getting better.
“I’m going to say Chelsea win the league next season, based on how good they’ve looked since Thomas Tuchel has taken over,” he told the Mirror.
“They’re my first choice for the title, then it’s obviously going to be United, Liverpool, and City who will be right up there with them.”
Essien became Chelsea’s record signing when the club forked out £24.4 million to price him away from Lyon in 2005.
He spent almost a decade at Stamford Bridge, helping the Blues to win multiple Premier League and FA Cup titles, as well as the UEFA Champions League in 2012.
The 38-year-old believes Chelsea has got the players and manager to challenge on all fronts next season.
“With the players, Thomas Tuchel has got at his disposal, I think he’s got all the tools needed to challenge for the title next season,” he said.
“If you look from the goalkeepers to the forwards, they’ve got big names all over the pitch. They’ve got it all.
“I love the fact that they’ve got Thiago Silva at the back, his experience really is vital to that team and he’s such a great name the younger players in the squad can learn from
“He commands the backline very well. But even without him, they’ve got Antonio Rudiger, Kurt Zouma, and Andreas Christensen, so they’re very strong in that area.”
Chelsea is currently in the final of the FA Cup and Champions League, where they’ll face Leicester City and Manchester City, respectively.