Chelsea legend, Didier Drogba, has urged Mikel Obi to leave the Premier League club for Olympique Marseille following his continued struggles at the West London side this season.
Mikel has yet to play any game for Chelsea under new manager, Antonio Conte, despite his good form at the Rio 2016 Olympics, where he won a bronze medal, and for the Super Eagles under German coach, Gernot Rohr, who has stuck to his captain.
Drogba believes a move to France will help Mikel stay close to his family as opposed to a move to China.
“Mikel will find relevance at Marseille. I told him how well I was treated during my time there and above all it will help him stay close to his family,” Drogba was quoted as saying by RAC1.
“Marseille are not doing badly this season and Mikel’s experience will come in handy in helping them finish the season on a high.”
Former Italy manager Conte has preferred the duo Frenchman N’Golo Kante and Serbian Nemanja Matic in the defensive midfield while Mikel has yet to be named on the bench since the start of the season.
After an uneventful half season that has seen Mikel ignored at Chelsea, the Nigerian will have the chance for a move in the January transfer window – with his contract expiring at the end of the season – away from the London club.
The 29-year-old has choices aplenty in Europe as Manchester United, Marseille, Inter Milan and other clubs want him while clubs in China also want his services.
Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua are reported to have offered him a £170,000-a-week deal while Marseille, who are currently struggling in the Ligue 1, would like to have him for £70,000 a week.
Also a former Nigeria international, Henry Nwosu, advised the Chelsea midfielder to take the bold step and head for the French club in the January transfer window.
And Nwosu said Mikel will find the French league good enough since he still has more years ahead of him.
“Mikel is in good form recently and we are beginning to see a bit of the old and creative Mikel which we used to know. He will do well for himself if he can seal a move to any of the top leagues in Europe since he seems to be surplus to requirement at Chelsea,”