By Richard Jideaka, Abuja:
Mikel Obi’s lack of playing time with his club Chelsea has been attributed to his choosing to go to the Rio Olympic Games in Brazil instead of joining his London club for pre-season, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
This was the view of former coach of Enyimba FC of Aba , Kadiri Ikhana, who spoke with Complete Sports in Abuja over the blacking out of the Super Eagles captain in the Chelsea first team by the manager Antonio Conte.
“I have watched Chelsea play several times this season and I am yet to be convinced that Mikel is not good enough to be a starter,” Ikhana said.
“To bench him and at times not list him at all suggest something other than footballing reasons. I guess the coach is angry because Mikel went to the Olympic with the Nigerian team
“The coach being a new man in the club must have wanted to see all the players in pre-season training but Mikel had already been cleared for the Rio Games by the club and I want to believe that Conte did not like that and decided to blacklist the Eagles skipper or how can he explain that Mikel is not good to play the EFL Cup game against West Ham?”
He continued: “I think Mikel is good to play for Chelsea first team even if it means bit-part playing but to phase him out completely is like telling him that his time at Stamford Bridge is up and I would advise Mikel to move during the January transfer window to save his career.”