The midfielder has discussed his future numerous times and has admitted he could quit the club in the summer though he left the doot open for a contract extension with his club. This season John Mikel Obi has been warming the bench for Chelsea and despite his lack of minutes his situation is a huge plus for Nigeria. Many Nigerians would want the Super Eagles captain to return to the starting line-up but that might be ill advised. Here are four reasons why Mikel’s bench role at Chelsea is a blessing disguise;
1. Fresher legs for tedious fixtures
The most obvious reason why Mikel’s club situation is good for Nigeria. The Nigerian skipper isn’t the faster player out there and he seems to gas out while playing in Africa before the 75th minute. By not playing, Mikel is keeping himself warm for the weather on the continent which will enable him play fully. A perfect example was the last game against Zambia in while he was one of the game’s best players and seemed to have extra in the locker.
2. Ability to learn off the pitch from other players
Mikel has played with different types of midfielders at Chelsea. Micheal Essien, Deco, Micheal Ballack, Frank Lampard, Ramires, Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas, Willian, Oscar and now N’Golo Kante. His on field experiences with the aforementioned has seen him win the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League. Despite playing as a deep lying anchor man most times, there are many who feel he is better suited further forward…his exploits at the Rio Olympics suggest so also. With his place on the bench, Mikel can learn from his teammates and expand his game. It mighteven allow him notice their mistakes and help him make better decisions when he is finally played.
3. Long season could see him finish the campaign strongly (in the case of an injury)
Mikel might not be starting the season for Chelsea but his will be playing come end of the season especially when injury strikes. Antonio Conte’s game plan make his player run the extra mile (the players have admitted so) and it is sure to cause injuries. In a team where Matic, Kante and Fabregas are the only barriers to Mikel’s first team opportunities, expect Conte to ring the changes soon. Mikel to play more games towards the end of the season His time might not be September, October or November but March, April and May are smiling upon the African Zidane.
4. Gives him more time to be with his family
Mikel Obi is a true family man, he posts pictures of his girlfriend and twins regularly. He is happy to praise them and let us know he is an Ibo boy now dating a white Russian girl.With more time being out of the match day squad, Mikel can spend time with his family. We know how Nigerian’s cherish family. Olga Diyachenko will be happy if the father of her kids can stay at home more rather than travel all round the country for matches.