Chelsea midfielder confirms he will be leaving the club.
John Obi Mikel has confirmed that he will be leaving Chelsea but at this stage it's unclear if that will be at the end of the season...
John Obi Mikel has confirmed that he will be leaving Chelsea but at this stage it's unclear if that will be at the end of the season or as early as January.
As have seen over the years, Mikel is someone that divides opinion amongst the Chelsea faithful. Some people would have him in their team purely for his defensive instincts and his ability to be in the right place at the right time. Others however bemoan his use of the ball and would not have him in the team.
As we have seen this season, Antonio Conte has sided with the latter part of the debate and Mikel is nowhere near the first team so far and you cannot argue with the way things have panned out of late as we sit second in the league having kept five clean sheets in a row.
Mikel plays a very different role for Nigeria and his coach at national level Gernot Rohr has slammed the treatment of Mikel by Conte. He said:
"Mikel was punished by Chelsea for playing at the Olympics for Nigeria.
The new coach tried convincing him to stay but he went to defend his nation.
I cannot punish him for not playing in his club." Source - Metro.
The one thing I cannot stand is the international break and these quotes that come from our players that are misinterpreted or from coaches about the players. Rohr's comments are misguided and he has to look at how the team has performed in the last five game to see that even the likes of Willian are struggling to get into the team at the moment.
The problem for Mikel is that Chelsea have played either a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation over that last twelve years. Both the formations suit Mikel and he has been utilised in that deeper midfield position by a number of various managers because of his defensive attributes. Now that Chelsea have made a tactical switch and with the way Antonio Conte wants his side to play, it doesn't suit Mikel and this is why he isn't involved.
Speaking of his future and with what seems like a reluctant acceptance of a move away, Mikel has spoken out and said:
"We will wait and see what happens in January.
For the first time in my career, this is happening to me and I have to stand up and deal with it.
It is what it is but I'm training hard every day and I always wish the team the best and I am happy we are doing well.
I've been at Chelsea a long time. Managers come and go, players come and go.
I've been at Chelsea a long time and these things happen in football. So we will have to make that decision when January comes." - Source: The Daily Star.
In my view, Mikel would be the perfect addition for Manchester United and Jose Mourinho as I personally believe that they lack a naturally defensive minded midfielder and someone that can tackle to win the ball back. If you want someone to focus purely on doing that job, to win the ball and give it simple to someone then Mikel is your man. I see no reason why other top sides would not be interested in his services having seen defensively what he can give to a team.
Unfortunately for him now at Chelsea we have N'Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic in front of him, both have great defensive ability but are also more than comfortable on the ball and dynamic going forward.
It will be said to see Mikel go. I always rated him in that defensive area. How do you sit on Mikel and what do you think of him leaving?