Chelsea veteran John Obi Mikel has stated that he is willing to ply his trade in the United State’s football league, Major League Soccer.
Mikel has entered the final year of his contract and he will be allowed to talk to other clubs in January, if Chelsea do not show an interest in prolonging his 11-year-stay at the club. One of Chelsea’s longest serving players, the midfielder has been at the club since 2006, when he joined during Mourinho’s first spell as Chelsea manager. He has since gone on to win every major trophy Europe has had to offer, including Chelsea’s maiden Champions League title back in 2012.
Speaking to Goal.com, the Nigerian international has stated that he would be open to moving to the United States where Premier League greats like Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard, David Beckham and his former team-mates, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole have all gone to see out the final years of their careers. Speaking on Lampard and his successful season so far at New York City, he said “There was absolutely no doubt that Frank wouldn’t go out there and succeed. I am happy that he is back to his best, doing what he loves to do and, one day, who knows, I may go over there and play with him, or play against him.”
Mikel missed the entirety of pre-season as he was with his national team contingent in Brazil for the Olympics, where he led his country to a Bronze medal. So far this season, Conte has mostly used Matic, Kante and Oscar in a three man midfield. The manager has also used youngsters Ruben Loftus-Cheek and handed Nathaniel Chalobah his debut. Mikel went on to say that he understood that it would be extremely difficult to get back into the team, saying “I know it is going to be difficult for me to get back into the team because I have missed the whole pre-season. The manager obviously has his philosophy of the way he wants to play and I need time to get back into the way in the way he wants to do things.”
With the arrival of N’golo Kante in the summer, Mikel’s chances of breaking into the first team have seemed to take a bigger hit, but he insisted that he knew there was a difficult challenge ahead of him, but one he would be willing to face. “I have been at Chelsea for 11 years now, the first day I came I was fighting for my place and I am still fighting for my position. It is remarkable at the end of the day how you fight and you still end up coming out victorious and I will keep fighting for my position and hopefully I will get back into the team.”