Mikel Had to Replace at Chelsea —Antonio Conte

After over a decade at the London club, Mikel made the switch to Tianjin TEDA in the Chinese Super League having failed to break into the Blues first team under the Italian manager.

Omo9jatoja has gathered that, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has confessed that the club aren’t finding it easy replacing Nigerian midfielder, John Obi Mikel since his departure in January.

The 29-year-old Super Eagles captain did not make a single first-team appearance since his return from competing in the Rio 2016 Olympics where he captained Dream Team VI to a bronze-place finish.

Another stalwart to leave the club halfway through the season was versatile defender, Branislav Ivanovic, who joined Russian outfit FC Zenit Saint Petersburg in a bid to get more playing time.

Joining Mikel and Ivanovic out of the club is long-serving captain John Terry who earlier this week announced that he would be ending his 22-year engagement with the club at the end of the season.

Addressing the press ahead of this Saturday’s crunch FA Cup semifinals against title rivals Tottenham Hotspur, Conte admits that it has not been easy replacing the players, hinting at strong activity for the Blues during the summer transfer, Goal writes.

Chelsea, who have a four point lead over Spurs in the Premier League, are also gunning for their eighth FA Cup title. But they will have to overcome their London rivals in the semis before either Manchester City or Arsenal in the final.


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