John Obi Mikel has only scored two goals since his arrival at Stamford Bridge back in 2006, and those came in his first season with the club, but the Nigerian isn’t too concerned with his personal drought in front of goal.
The Chelsea number twelve has gone over five seasons without hitting the net, but such is his importance to the team now as a defensive midfielder, he can’t venture forward or the Blues would be carved open through the middle.
There is no better man in the squad for that position though, and you get the feeling Roberto Di Matteo is quite content with Mikel’s lack of goals as long as he continues to provide the back four with sufficient cover.
It’s a very unselfish job to do, away from the spotlight with fans’ praise usually going to those Chelsea players banging in the goals. However, there is no questioning Mikel’s value to the Blues’ squad, with players and fans alike very happy with his contribution to the side.
He is sure to have competition from Oriol Romeu over the course of this season and beyond, with the Spaniard now playing regularly for his U21 national side, and that can only be good for Mikel and for Chelsea, as they strive to build on last season’s Champions’ League success.
Both players have a long way to go if they are to be mentioned in the same breath as ex-Chelsea defensive midfielder Claude Makelele, but the Frenchman was one of a kind, and anything close that level of performance from Mikel and Romeu is sure to please the Blues’ faithful.
By Sean Monaghan