–Ex-international advocates a Change of role For Chelsea star
Former Nigeria international, Tijani Babangida has called for a change of position for Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel in the Super Eagles if they are to get the best out of him.
Mikel has been playing an advanced midfield role for Nigeria ever since he made his debut in a friendly against Libya in 2006, thanks to his stellar showings in that role during his U-17 and U-20 days.
But he seems to have lost that attacking spark since his move to Chelsea, and Babangida thinks it’s high time the Eagles’ coach starts playing him in a more familiar role.
“I think we should start playing him in a more familiar role. The role he plays at Chelsea, which is in the holding midfield position,” he said.
“He doesn’t seem to be able to function effectively in a play making role as he used to, so maybe he should get a more familiar role.”
Mikel has been hugely criticised in Nigeria for his often lethargic performances and failing to offer any creative spark, which even forced his Eagles teammate, Nosa Igiebor to come to his defence.
“It seems best at this point to have him play in holding midfield. Maybe we’ll get the best out of him there,” he opined.
Meanwhile, the former Ajax Amsterdam of Holland player has advised that more creative midfielders should be scouted for the Super Eagles.
“The coaches must get more creative midfielders and invite them to the team. We have been lacking in that area for years now and we really need to get these sorts of players,’ he added.
Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho has constantly been touted as a possible replacement for Mikel in that role, but it remains to be seen if he’ll finally get his chance next month against Sudan.