John Obi Mikel admits that he’s still open to returning to English football

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The former Super Eagles captain is currently without a club after parting ways with Turkish Super Lig side Trabzonspor by mutual agreement in March due to his refusal to return to action during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before his departure from the Medical Park Stadyumu, the 33-year-old made 27 appearances for the Black Sea Storm across all competitions.

In a recent interview, Mikel told BBC Sport Africa:

“Yes, there are interested clubs and England is a strong possibility and why not, “We are currently in talks with clubs and there is absolutely no hurry. I can only wait to see what happens.”

Mikel made his mark in English football during his time at Chelsea whom he signed for after a fantastic U-20 World Cup campaign where he finished behind Lionel Messi for the Golden Ball award.

His transfer wasn’t without controversy as he once looked set to go to Manchester United before a last-minute approach from Chelsea and Mourinho who he later joined.

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Mikel at Chelsea

The decision paid off wonderfully well as he ended up winning two Premier League titles, FA Cup, Champions League, Europa League among others as well as racking up 249 Premier League appearances. Mikel also featured for Championship club Middleborough after leaving Chinese Super League side Tianjin Teda in 2018. 

Which clubs could be interested in Mikel?

West Brom and Stoke City are touted as the frontrunners to land Mikel. The Baggies are preparing for life back in England after their promotion back into the top flight last season. Having someone with Mikel’s experience would go a long way in ensuring that they stay afloat.

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On the other hand, Stoke City lost Etebo to Getafe recently and desperately need a like-for-like player to replace him so as to shore up the midfield. While Mikel may not necessarily be at the peak of his powers, he could still do a job for the Potters.

If it comes down to both clubs, Mikel may be leaning towards West Brom because they will offer him Premier League football. However, the Championship may be a better fit for a man in the twilight of his playing days.

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