Mikel Admits Challenge At Chelsea

Nigeria international, John Obi Mikel is now aware that he faces a battle for a starting place at Chelsea.

Mikel’s acknowledgment stems from the conversion of centre-back David Luiz to a defensive midfielder by Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez in recent games.

The 25-year-old Nigerian midfielder has been the man for the dirty job at Chelsea for the past six years and has become accustomed to the partnership of either Ramires or Frank Lampard in the heart of the pitch.

“I think he (Luiz) needs to play at the back. It affects you because I’ve been here for a long time.

“And now I have to play with David Luiz. It’s just a lot, I think, psychologically as well.

“You think, ‘If I’m playing today, who am I going to play with?’

“I’ve played with Frank (Lampard) for a long time and I’ve always enjoyed playing with Frank and Rami as well and (now) with David,” said Mikel.

Benitez, however, stuck to Luiz for Chelsea’s game at Everton over the weekend despite Mikel being available after serving a three-match suspension.

The former Liverpool manager first experimented with Luiz in the holding role at the recent edition of the FIFA Club World Cup.