Nigeria captain John Mikel Obi clearly does not feature in English Premier League club Chelsea’s immediate plans, with the 29-year-old having failed to make an appearance yet under new coach Antonio Conte this season.
The lack of game time has frustrated Mikel, and the Super Eagles stalwart is seriously considering a move away from Stamford Bridge in the upcoming January transfer window.
Fellow midfielders N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic have kept the Nigerian out of the Blues setup this term, and this struggle was compacted by his absence at the start of the season in favour of skippering the Nigerian Olympic team at Rio 2016.
That decision may have cost Mikel game time early on, but it is increasingly clear that he does not form part of Conte’s plan for success at the London club.
This realisation, combined with a great deal of interest in the midfielder’s services from all parts of the world, means that Mikel could be on the verge of a move away from his beloved Chelsea.
According to reports in England, the club is not looking to stand in the way of his departure, and they would facilitate a loan deal next month in order to provide Mikel with a path to his next club as soon as possible.
His Chelsea contract runs out in June, and at this stage he would be able to join a club on a free transfer, which is an attractive proposition for many clubs.
With interest emerging from Turkey, China and England, the Nigerian international has a few options to consider, but at 29, he may not want to give up on UEFA Champions League football just yet, with a move to a top Turkish side providing him with the opportunity to feature in the flagship European cup competition next season.
Regardless of his decision, a move away from Stamford Bridge is a must, as he has a great deal to give a new side thanks to his experience and ability in midfield, and sitting in the stands or as an unused sub on the Chelsea bench is simply a waste of his proven talent.