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Mikel-Obi There is definitely no doubt about the talent of John Mikel Obi given his achievement for Chelsea FC and the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the last half- decade. He has received praise and criticism from fans, the latter which has been more profound coming from his club performance. The big question now is; ‘Can he prove his critics wrong at his current club?’ Here are reasons why he should quit Chelsea: * To revive his natural ability: Mikel started his professional career as an attacking midfielder which gave rise to comparisons with our erstwhile maestro Austin Jay-Jay Okocha. His ability to build play deep from within the defensive midfield to the attack made him stand out at the 2005 Under-20 FIFA world cup tournament where he came second only to Lionel Messi for the most valuable player of the tournament position. If he leaves Chelsea he will stand a better chance of playing in a role that he is more comfortable with, given his super star status. * The return of Jose Mourinho: No doubt the return of the ‘special one’ Jose Mourinho is bound to bring massive success back to the bridge but one doubts if Mikel will be playing a major role at the attacking midfield position. Mourinho signed Mikel from Lyn Oslo after a series of controversies involving Manchester United, after which the player was forced to play in the defensive midfield position which has seen his bright attacking prowess wither. * Relevance to Nigeria: Since Mikel made his debut for the Super Eagles of Nigeria, he has always being the central play maker for the team. Though his relevance was limited to defensive duties for Chelsea FC, the Super Eagles paid no attention to his position at Chelsea, Mikel himself confessed his need to find a balance between his style for Chelsea and for his country. One can only wonder how long this blind love will last if he does not act fast. * Becoming one of the best: there is a saying ‘you can’t be the best if you are part of the rest. That has been his Chelsea career definition these days, unlike his counterpart Lionel Messi who has gone on to win world’s best footballer for the 4th consecutive time. Mikel needs to join a club where he will be regarded as their focal man. That said; anyone asking him to remain at Chelsea just does not like football.   By Martins Okafor

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This article was first published on 13th July 2013

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