John Obi Mikel must impress Guus Hiddink at Chelsea

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Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel must impress new manager Guus Hiddink if he is to have a future at Stamford Bridge.

The Nigeria international became a fringe player during Jose Mourinho’s turbulent time at the helm and was often overlooked in place of Cesc Fabregas, Nemanja Matic and Ramires in the heart of midfield.

However, Hiddink’s arrival will serve to rejuvenate the Blues players and everyone is now fighting for their futures with Roman Abramovich keen to build a side capable of sustaining success for the long term.


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Fringe player

Ever since he decided to snub Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United back in 2006, Mikel has flirted with the Chelsea first-team despite never really managing to consolidate himself a place in the starting XI.

He played under Mourinho during the Portuguese's' first spell at the club and has since tasted varied success under the likes of Avram Grant, Luiz Filipe Scolari, Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto Di Matteo and Rafa Benitez.

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The 28-year-old also impressed when Hiddink took over on an interim basis back in 2009, helping the Dutchman to win silverware in the form of the FA Cup.

Yet regardless of how many honours he has won, he has never quite won over the fans, who have always been underwhelmed and have been spoilt with the quality of Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack and Claude Makelele over the last decade. 

Big opportunity

Every Chelsea player is now on trial, with Hiddink’s impressions likely to be passed onto whoever Abramovich decides to bring in on a permanent basis. 

His experience of past victories is crucial – particularly with Lampard and Petr Cech leaving for new challenges in recent seasons – whilst John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic also appear to be heading towards the end of their careers.

Misfiring strikers Andriy Shevchenko and Claudio Pizarro were deemed surplus to requirements after failing to discover their best form under Hiddink years ago, with successor Ancelotti refusing to give them a future at Stamford Bridge.


Possible exit?

It may be the case that from the start Hiddink sets about selling Mikel when the transfer window reopens next month.

His departure would come as no surprise, but his medal collection will be proof of a successful time in the Premier League.


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Frank Lampard
Jose Mourinho
Premier League
John Obi Mikel
Didier Drogba

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