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John Obi Mikel should leave Chelsea this summer

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John Obi Mikel has been a reliable and dependable if somewhat unspectacular performer for Chelsea over the last eight years.

With the club having expended a lot of energy, time and effort to bring him to Stamford Bridge in rather controversial circumstances back in 2006, the 27-year-old has won a plethora of silverware in West London without ever receiving too much by way of consistent praise or adulation.

Not a player to regularly hit the headlines - his hugely contentious departure from Norwegian outfit Lyn Oslo aside - Mikel unusually found himself the subject of a sudden swarm of transfer speculation yesterday, with several reports suggesting that Chelsea had moved to offer his services to several Serie A clubs for a measly fee of just £5 million.

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Right decision

While there are bound to be many who will cite the need for a Premier League title contender to boast sufficient strength in depth throughout their squad, I believe Chelsea and Jose Mourinho are right to be looking to offload Mikel this summer.

The Nigerian international made only 24 appearances during Mourinho's first season back in charge, often not considered as valuable to Chelsea's cause as the veteran Frank Lampard, Brazilian Ramires and January signing Nemanja Matic.

The decision to sign Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona is likely to see Mikel slide further down the pecking order, a problem that will begin to border on the ridiculous if Mourinho also goes ahead and pips Arsenal to the signing of Real Madrid midfielder and World Cup winner Sami Khedira in the coming weeks.

Watch: The latest Chelsea transfer news

More money?

Despite wholeheartedly endorsing the decision to gauge interest from the continent in Mikel, I can't help but feel Chelsea are lowering their demands slightly too far in their haste to see him depart.

He isn't the flashiest, most dynamic or memorable of players, certainly, but Mikel has performed consistently at the very top level for several years now and, with one Premier League title to his name along with four FA Cups, one Europa League and one Champions League winners' medal, he is surely deserving of a price tag in excess of just £5 million.

Mikel's versatility and impressive performance at the recent 2014 World Cup merit a higher billing than that.

While he has been used almost exclusively as a ball-winning, defensive shield during his time at Chelsea, he is actually often deployed in a far more attacking role for his country.

Chelsea would be foolish to expect to receive anything close to a small fortune for Mikel at this stage of his career and as the club looking to sell, it stands to reason that they should dip below his market value as an incentive for potential suitors.

However, £5 million immediately strikes me as too much of a bargain. Chelsea under Roman Abramovich do not need to rely upon the funds they generate through such player sales, of course, but that doesn't mean they should be content to settle.

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Topics:
Chelsea
Premier League
Football
John Obi Mikel

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