By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Nollywood star Segun Arinze has heaped plaudits on Chelsea and Super Eagles midfielder, John Obi Mikel for his renaissance of sorts under the regime of Guus Hiddink at Stamford Bridge, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The actor also strongly expressed his support for three embattled Chelsea stars whom fans of the outgoing champions have clamoured for their sale, namely; Eden Harzard, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas.
Mikel is now a regular under the Dutchman unlike under former boss Jose Mourinho.
"The form of Mikel Obi of late is great. We can now see that the so-called lack of progress in his game is because of Jose Mourinho's sheer preference for Nemanja Matic," Segun Arinze told Completesportnigeria.com.
"Mikel now plays the box-to-box role and scores again. I was proud of him when he scored that goal that was a glimmer of hope against PSG in Paris," Arinze began.
Playmaker Eden Hazard who has had a disappointing season for the Blues with no goals scored and with only four assists, was jeered by Chelsea fans on Wednesday night during the Round of 16 game against Paris Saint Germain which the London club lost 2-1, and 4-2 on aggregate.
Hazard exchanged jerseys at half time with Angel Di Maria which did not go down well with the Chelsea faithful who have also voiced their displeasure at the form of Cesc Fabregas and the constant petulance of Diego Costa despite his impressive form.
Former singer turned actor cum voice-over artiste, Arinze, who is an avid Chelsea supporter also spoke with Completesportsnigeria.com on the knotty subject about which star players stay or leave the Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.
"Everything that could go wrong has possibly gone wrong at Chelsea, but despite the poor season, I'll not subscribe to the sale of the club's star players," the Badagry born multi talented thespian told Completesportsnigeria.com.
"The fans have the right to express their feelings, but it will be wrong to let go of those guys except they are bad influence in the dressing room.
"I would like to see them at the club next season. Unfortunately, there will be no Champions League for the team, but the likes of Juventus went down to the Serie B during their bad phase and that did not make their best players leave."
Chelsea on Saturday evening (today) faces Everton in one of the quarter-finals of the FA Cup at Goodison Park. Diego Costa who scored the Blues' consolation goal in their midweek loss to PSG is likely to be out due to hamstring injury.
"The loss of Costa for the Everton game is unfortunate but he is another player that has drawn criticism for his style of game. That has been his style but unless someone pays a good amount, we still need him," Arinze stressed.
Chelsea's game against Everton kicks off 6.30pm today (Saturday).