Many top football players across the globe are suddenly moving to the Chinese Super League. If you ask them, most will tell you they are doing so because they wanted a ‘new challenge’.
The likes of Jackson Martinez, Ramires, Alex Teixeira, Oscar, Demba Ba have all moved to China after playing in Europe.
Nigerians players have not been immune to the Chinese League
cash bug as more than a handful have already pitch their football tents in the oriental nation. Obafemi Martins and Yakubu Aiyegbeni easily come to mind.
So it didn’t come as a surprise when Super Eagles captain John Mikel Obi also joined the ever working conveyor belt to the far east.
However, Mikel Obi after already giving reasons why he made the move for some reason, felt he had to
embellish add to the story. Here is what he said:
“I could easily have stayed in Chelsea for the remaining six months of my contract but it won’t be in the best interest of my nation, as they need me match fit when the World Cup 2018 qualifiers resume.”
“It wasn’t an easy decision to make but I seriously need matches to stay fit for Nigeria. Nigerians don’t deserve to miss out of the World Cup after back to back failure to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations.”
Mikel’s patriotism in not in doubt, but with all due respect, to actually say he moved to China because of Nigeria? Get real boss.
One thing is sure, Chelsea was no longer the place for the Super Eagles captain and he would most probably have spent the rest of the season warming the bench if he had elected to stay to fight for a shirt.
This could have hurt the chances of the Super Eagles making it to The 2018 World Cup given that he is a mainstay in the team. However, although the Super Eagles need Mikel given his experience and ability, the team can do without him because there are other younger and more hungry players who are regulars at their clubs waiting in the wings who can step up to the plate when called upon.
Therefore, his reason for the move to China should have be different. Rather he may have said something along the lines of he moved to get playing time so he could stay fit and keep his space and position as Super Eagles captain under Coach Genort Rohr.
The fact should also not be discountenanced that Mikel does not necessarily need to move to a team in China in order to secure first team football. He would have walked straight into the Valencia team had he decided to move to the Spanish La Liga – the rumours had suggested that was where he was headed. The most plausible reason for his move therefore would be financial since China is known for splashing the cash and as we all know, no European team will pay him the £140,000 he is reportedly going to be earning at Tianjin TEDA.
It is not a bad thing if Mikel wants to secure his financial future given that he has only a few years left to be still be considered fit enough for the top tier of club football, but he should not patronize Nigerians saying he did it for the clarion call. We all know what it’s about!
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