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Mikel: No Regrets Choosing Chelsea Over Manchester United

Mikel: No Regrets Choosing Chelsea Over Manchester United

John Mikel Obi has said he has good memories of his time with Chelsea and has no regrets picking the Blues over Manchester United.

The former Super Eagles captain enjoyed a successful 11-year spell at the Stamford Bridge and is one of the most decorated African players in history.

Mikel won the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, two Premier Leagues, two League Cups and four FA Cups during his time with the West London club.

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The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner made a controversial move to Chelsea in 2006 after Manchester United after Manchester United claimed they had already signed him.

After a protracted saga which lasted for months, Chelsea offered to pay Manchester United $12m, while Mikel’s then Danish club Lyn Oslo got $4m

“I don’t regret any decision I made because I enjoyed everything I achieved at Chelsea – it’s the best decision I have ever made in my life,” Mikel told BBC Sport Africa.

“I signed a pre-contract for Manchester United when I was 17. If you are a kid and you see Sir Alex Ferguson right in front of you with the contract, of course you will be tempted.”

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Mikel left Chelsea for Chinese Super League club, Tiajin Teda in 2017.

The 35-year-old also played for Middlesbrough, Trabzonspor, Stoke City and Kuwait SC.

He announced his retirement from football last week.

By Adeboye Amosu

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  • We will never know what plans Sir Alex Ferguson had for you and how these would have shaped your position on the pitch.

    Trophy-wise, there can be no regrets picking Chelsea. But many felt you were far capable of more than your defensive midfield position made you produce.

    • pompei 2 years ago

      Na wa for the person that disliked this comment ooo.
      Some pipo’s job is just to be disliking comments up and down.

      • Well, I also don’t understand what deo is trying to emphasize. Mikel had an amazing career….at the international and club levels. These unnecessary debates about what he could have been should stop. Infact, I never saw him as an attacking midfielder, and it would have been a suicide mission because of his pace. Albeit, he was more intelligent than some of those we revere so much, and that’s why he won almost everything.

      • Pompei, common sense is not too common. Thanks bro!

        I would rather spend all my day at the dentist than reply to some stupid comments.

  • MuYiwa 2 years ago

    Mikel was able to adapt everywhere he went, and that’s why he survived several coaches at Chelsea. Even AVB, who refused to give Mikel the ‘honour he deserved’, got the boot within a short time. He won the AFCON, a feat even Papilo never achieved. Mikel came, saw and conquered on all fronts.

  • pompei 2 years ago

    That Mikel was deployed as an AM by Siasia in the Flying Eagles was not by mistake. He had the qualities of a talented AM, and he displayed those qualities frequently enough to get noticed by some of the biggest clubs in the world. The fact that his goals and assists contributions for Nigeria are much higher than his Chelsea stats is no coincidence either. The reason is obvious. With Nigeria, he was deployed as an AM, and he had the freedom to play accordingly. With Chelsea, he was restrained by the demands of the DM role, and although he played that role with distinction, it was clear that he had to adapt to that as a professional. Whereas for Mikel, playing as an AM na follow come.
    The fact is, Mikel might have developed into quite the finished article, as far as being an AM goes. Deo is saying that we will never know what impact Sir Alex would have had on Mikel. His trophy cabinet is filled to the brim, but his talent as an AM was never fully realized.

  • pompei 2 years ago

    They say a picture speaks louder than a thousand words.
    See this video of Mikel, and decide for yourself. What do you see, a DM or an AM?


    • Mikel’s voulu defensive midfield role at Chelsea proved a conundrum for the Late Coaches Shuibi Amodu and Stephen Keshi who both persisted with him as an offensive centre midfielder in Nigeria colours regardless.

      Mikel himself sparked this “unnecessary debate” recently by maintaining he had no regrets in picking Chelsea. Why should he? He achieved greatness in Chelsea with Team Successes over a lengthy period. But, notably, individual accolades eluded him beyond youth achievements.

      Who knows? As an offensive centre midfielder, he might have added several individual accolades to his team trophies but one has to be immensely happy and proud of Mikel for his contributions to Chelsea’s trophy cabinet in his time at Stanford Bridge.

      But something tells me that Mikel had it in him to have won several individual accolades as well like “the BBC Player of The Year”, Premier League Player of The Month, or “Player of The Season”, had he played a more offensive centre midfield role in club football.

      The truth is, we will never know.

      Mikel can be proud of himself for his accomplishments and he remains a source of inspiration for young footballers coming through.

      On an unrelated topic. As I mentioned many months ago, I still believe homebased goalkeepers should be given a chance to compete with Maduka Okoye for a starting slot in the Super Eagles. Anyone who continues to have headache because of this view of mine should purchase panadol to help relieve their pain.


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