Mikel Obi Leaves Chelsea Football Club For China for an Undisclosed Fee – Chelsea FC midfielder John obi Mikel has today joined Chinese Super league side Tianjin TEDA after 10-and-a-half years with Chelsea in which he won every major club honour. The club made an official statement on their websites with tributes to their outgoing icon and subsequently wished him well for the future.
The Midfielder who has seen his first team opportunities this season limited has decided to trade the West London side for China. He follows in the footsteps of Brazilian midfielder Oscar Jnr. who joined moved to China last month for a record 62 Million pounds.
Since the arrival of Antonio Conte at Stamford bridge in the summer, the Nigerian captain has not made a single appearance for Chelsea. His claim for a first team place was not helped by his participation in the 2016 Rio Olympics in which he won Gold with the Nigerian team. This ensured that he wasn’t part of the club’s pre-season preparations. Another factor was the arrival of N’Golo Kante from Leicester City.
It is fair to say that a player of Mikel’s quality should move on for greener pastures following his current situation at Chelsea. He was however expected to join a European club with Valencia and Olympique Marseille rumored to have been interested in securing his services. He has however opted for the Chinese money which seem to be the trend of late.
Though never really a team starter for Chelsea in the premier League, Mikel Obi remains one of the big men for the big occasions as his best moments can be said to have come against the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester United and the likes.
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Here is the official statement from Chelseafc.com on Mikel’s move to China;
“John Mikel Obi has today moved to Chinese side Tianjin TEDA following 10-and-a-half years with Chelsea in which time he won every major club honour.”
“The 29-year-old is one of a select band of five foreign players in our history to have reached the 300-game landmark – alongside Chelsea greats Petr Cech, Didier Drogba, Branislav Ivanovic and Gianfranco Zola.”
“His finest moment came in 2012 in Munich, when his incredible discipline in midfield protected the defence and helped us to claim our first Champions League triump.”
“Silverware was a regular theme of the Nigerian’s stay in west London. Mikel was Chelsea Young Player of the Year in his debut 2006/07 season, having arrived from Norwegian side Lyn Oslo. He ended that campaign with two winners’ medals: the League Cup and FA Cup. He lifted the latter trophy four times in our colours.”
“Having learned the trade of defensive midfielder from one of the best in the business – Claude Makelele – Mikel gradually filled the boots of the old master and was a regular choice under a series of Chelsea managers. He won medals while working with Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, Roberto Di Matteo and Rafael Benitez.”
“Mikel played his part in two Premier League successes. The first in 2010, when he was the holding figure in a free-scoring side which won the Double. The second came five years later, when he continued to make important contributions and helped close out vital victories throughout the season. In the same campaign he added a second League Cup triumph.”
“His close-range volley against Fulham in September 2013 ended a goalless run dating back to January 2007. The uninhibited joy among his team-mates was mirrored by those in the Stamford Bridge stands, highlighting his cult status among fans.”
“On the international stage, Mikel captained Nigeria to African Nations glory in 2013 and led them in the Confederations Cup that summer. He again wore the armband at the Rio Olympics, guiding them to a historic bronze medal.”
“In total, Mikel played 372 times for Chelsea, scoring six goals. He leaves with our very best wishes and we thank him for his exceptional service.”
Meanwhile Antonio Conte currently has a job in his hand in securing quality replacements for Mikel and Oscar. Having lost to Totenham in the EPL, Chelsea look to take on Leicester City this weekend in a match which they have to win to keep their Premier League title push alive.
Goodbye to a Chelsea great and a Premier League Legend. Farewell John Mikel Obi.