Reports and rumours over the past week have speculated that Chelsea FC are pondering to offer Juventus a huge, mouth-watering £40million for their young french Midfielder Paul Pogba. But not only that, along with the £40million, the Blues are ready to add “Nigeria’s best player”, John Obi Mikel in the deal. This literally means that Chelsea wants offer £40million + Mikel for 23 year old Paul Pogba.
You may wonder why the phrase “Nigeria’s best player” is put in quote. Well, it’s mainly because our Beloved Number 10 is being seen as below average.
Back then in the FIFA World Youth Championship (Under-20 world cup) in 2015, the Flying Eagles were among favourites to win the tournament with the likes of Chinedu Ogbuke (Obasi), Taiye Taiwo, Mikel e.t.c forming a formiddable team that was capable of beating any team that comes its way. As expected, we got to the final and were unjustly beaten 2-1 by winners Argentina courtesy of Lionel Messi’s brace from the penalty spot.
During that tournament, Mikel played in all Nigeria games as an attacking Midfielder and most notably, ‘wearing the number 9’ shirt. He was capable of playing in every position on the field of play as long as it is situated around the Middle. This was when the name ‘Mikel’ came into limelight. He was dazzling like Iniesta, executing delicious passes like Xavi and Cesc, his tackling were fantastic and his movement were magesterial, Mikel was absolutely fantastic.
After the tournament, Argentina’s Lionel Messi was awarded the Golden Shoe for being top scorer with 6 goals and of course he also won the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player. The story doesn’t end there, our own John Obi Mikel was also presented with an award, The Silver Ball for 2nd best player of the tournament. With this, Mikel eclipsed the likes of Fabregas and Aguero in that tournament.
Clubs from different parts of the world sought after this young Nigerian talent and then, Nigerians began to conclude that we have found the New Jay Jay Okocha. Indeed!
Then, the two biggest clubs in England, Manchester United and Chelsea began to battle for his signature but unfortunately, yes, UNFORTUNATELY, Mikel moved to Stamford Bridge in what I will call ‘the biggest mistake of his career’.
Mikel didn’t get the treatment a youth of such age and talent should get. This was because he was under a coach whose philosophy didn’t and still doesn’t support it, Jose Mourinho.
Mikel went on to win Chelsea’s best young player in 2007, 2008 and 2010 but what really destroyed his destined career?
With Claude Makelele leaving and Mou needing a competitor with Essien, Mikel was converted into a defensive midfielder to suit the Mourinho defensive style of play. Actually, there was space for Mikel in a more attacking role but Mou brought in Deco to fill the thinnest of spaces and with Lampard, Deco, Joe Cole, Kalou and other countless attacking names in the squad, Mikel obviously had no chance.
Right now, players who were not up to the level of Mikel then such as Fabregas, Aguero, Di Maria e.t.c have toppled the Nigerian by a wide margin and now, Mikel has been underrated to the extent that he isn’t worth up to a mere 22 year old Manchester United wantaway. Did I say mere? Nah, Pogba isn’t mere, he is talented but Mikel + £40million seems very weird.
Mikel will be sitting on Chelsea’s bench watching Fabregas performing Magic and he’ll be like, “My boy of then.”
Oh my! What I will say is selling Mikel off in such manner will be total disrespect for Mikel and Chelsea should at least show a little teeny-weeny bit of confidence in him.
And if I were Mikel, I wouldn’t accept such transfer. Just like Alexis Sanchez did to Barcelona. I’d rather leave for a cheaper price to another team and show the world what Chelsea missed. We Love You Mikel! Peace!