In news that nobody was expecting, it seems that John Obi Mikel may well be poised to leave Stamford Bridge with Turkish side Galatasaray the likely destination. Galatasaray sporting director Bulent Tulun told media after a visit to London that a permanent move for Mikel was in the works. Mikel has a contract until 2017 after signing an extension in December, and the club’s willingness to cash in on the 26 year old Nigerian midfielder looks to be a sign that Jose Mourinho is looking to put his own stamp on both the squad and the first team itself.
Mikel has won pretty much all there is to win during his 7 year spell in London, and while he has never really been acknowledged as one of Chelsea’s most important players, he has been an ever present under a number of managers. Many fans will not be sad to see him leave, especially if he commands a decent transfer fee, but Mikel was always solid if never spectacular. He would leave us short of central midfield options, but there is some suggestion that Mourinho is looking to reintroduce Michael Essien in to the squad in his place.
I will not rejoice in Mikel leaves – he always gave his all on the pitch and never disrespected the club. However, I must admit that the prospect of change is exciting. Mikel never established himself as the sort of midfield boss that he should have become, and he was never likely to come up with a goal. Midfielders, even if defensive, should provide some sort of threat going forward. We don’t have that with John Obi, and it’s something we need if we hope to build a league winning team.
If we do sell Mikel, does this mean that we will buy a defensive midfielder? Not entirely. As mentioned, the returning Michael Essien is highly rated by Mourinho, while David Luiz proved his worth there last season.
Incorporating Terry in the back line could well mean pushing Luiz forward more permanently. Additionally, defensive midfield is a position that Oscar has previously excelled at. His passing range is phenomenal, and with a number of attacking talents being brought in to the squad, Oscar might be asked to drop deeper for the good of the team. All of this remains uncertain, but if Mikel is up for sale, I find myself asking one thing. What else is going on behind the scenes? This possible sale came completely out of the Blue – will there be more widespread change than we’re prepared for?