- Mikel Obi has explained why he left Chelsea for China
- He said he moved to Tianjin Teda because of his country Nigeria
- The 29-year-old has played his first game for Tianjin Teda on Wednesday, January 11, 2017
After making a mega move to Chinese club Tianjin Teda, John Obi Mikel has explained the rationale behind his decision to have dumped Premier League club Chelsea after playing at Stamford bridge for 10 years.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was said to have frustrated the 29-year-old midfielder which many believed was the major rationale Mikel dumped the club.
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But despite his lack of playing times at Chelsea under Antonio Conte, Mikel remains a regular at the national team as he is the captain of the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
Earlier in January 2017, the player was reported to be heading to the Spanish League, but he made a move to China in which many pundits believes Mikel made the switch because of the impressive offer made by Tianjin Teda.
''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,'' the former Chelsea player explained
Meanwhile, Mikel has played his first game for his new Chinese club Tianjin Teda in a friendly match which they lost 1-2 to Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday, January 11, 2017.