Is This The Right Man To Replace John Obi Mikel?

By on October 19, 2012

A post by one of our resident Chelsea fans – Fintan Bradley – on whether Oriel Romeu is the right man to replace John Obi Mikel.

Oriol Romeu chelsea

John Obi Mikel. If you asked me to describe the African as a footballer, I’d say: he’s unreliable, unpredictable, but occasionally brilliant.

One of these occasions occurred last Saturday when the Nigerian helped his country to a 6-1 win against Liberia. As well as getting an assist, Mikel… wait for it… SCORED HIMSELF!

This rare feat was swiftly met by Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo’s word of praise for the, in his words, ‘unsung hero’. The Italian told Chelsea’s official website.

“Over the years he has been almost ever-present, and he has been very important over the back end of last season and this season he started in good form, his team-mates and the management team understand and appreciate it, but maybe the fans are more focused on the more creative players and goalscorers, but that role is vital in our team. “

“We all make mistakes in games and I don’t think he gets the credit for the work he does for the team.”

“It’s a thankless task really, and I understand because I played in that role myself a little bit, and it’s a role that is important for the team. He’s an unsung hero.”

“His team-mates and the management team understand and appreciate it, but maybe the fans are more focused on the more creative players and goalscorers, but that role is vital in our team.”

“He and the player alongside him have to have a good understanding and communication, so that we always have one of the two behind the ball who is able to provide an outlet for us, to switch play, and also be the first player thinking about if we lose the ball, to be able to give organisation in front of the defence.”

Despite Di Matteo’s praise, not all of The Blues fans are convinced…and neither are the media. Chelsea have been constantly linked with a replacement for Mikel ever since Micheal Essien’s ‘talent stealing injury’. Marouane Fellaini and Danielle Di Rossi being the most recent.

Though, do Chelsea need to buy? What about Oriol Romeu? He’s perfectly talented, young and has experience playing for Barcelona.

If Chelsea do in the end choose to replace Mikel and it isn’t with Romeu, I’ll be baffled. The young Spaniard played brilliantly last season and looked as though he would be staying in The Blues’ first XI for a long time, but then of course he was hit by injury and was caught up by Roberto Di Matteo’s managerial introduction.

One of the theories being thrown around about why Romeu is being left out is that Chelsea are worried about Romeu becoming too good too soon and Barcelona initiating the buy back clause inserted in his contract when he was sold.

This means the Catalan club have first refusal should Chelsea deem him surplus to requirements, seeing Barcelona pay €10 million in 2012 or €15 million in 2013. This wouldn’t mean he would definitely leave The European Champions, as Romeu could choose to reject the opportunity.

However, it has been reported that the 21-year-old has said he would like to return to the Camp Nou one day, so the probability of Romeu rejecting terms is unlikely.

In my opinion Chelsea should seriously consider phasing Romeu into the team this season as he has incredible potential. Yes there are a a few risks to this, but I reckon, and so do many others, that it’s worth a try.

Do you think Chelsea need to buy a new defensive midfielder, or give Romeu a chance? Get involved in the comments section.

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46 Comments

  1. Toprarph

    October 19, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    For me mikel is a very good player on is position, i av to remaid mr winter dat mikel is 2nd best player in world youth campionship 2005 dat year he played 10 but mouriho did nt wat him on bench he turn it as 4 and is doin great.

  2. arum gadin

    October 19, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    lets giv de little boy romeu a trial again. watch his game against valencia & mancity last season will convnce u. let dere b rotation btw dem period

  3. fatahu

    October 19, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    its a good dicision mikel must be kept on bench whilse we play wit Romeu we must 2 try him b’coz Romeu is the right man for mikel obi

  4. danny nero

    October 19, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    @mikel is good and no 2 ya question

  5. Tommy

    October 19, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    First of all, Mikel is truly an ‘unsung hero’ as Di Matteo said, leaving his natural position to an ‘artificial’ position and improving this much so far(ask Mata to play there….lol). Again, Romeu is a ‘good’ player(cant say fantastic as we cant judge by 1 or 2 matches(go watch him against Arsenal last season)), but he deserves some game more, say in d cups, he is still young just like De Brune. As for him replacing Mikel, absolutely NO, pivot midfield aint an easy task @ all, with every blue player on the pitch being an attacking player(even Terry), we sure will need someone who LOVES staying put and thats definitely MIKEL!!!

  6. George

    October 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    You just dont kn ₩ђã†̥ to write, u drop u pen. Mikel is untouchable. U dont kn anytin abt balance. So far he provids that balance..goals mean nothing to me.cos we ve people that can score. Calculate the number of mistakes chelsea players has made this season i tell me who got the least.is mikel. Only two or three this season. Stop writting if you dont kn ₩ђã†̥ to write. Mikel hater

    • Gino

      October 20, 2012 at 3:00 am

      Mikel sucks. You’d think for being the next great attacking midfielder of Nigeria years ago, that he could make a pass farther than five yards! He has kept the job because he had no competition with Essien always injured. Now Chelsea get Romeu and just because the writer asks if Oriol should get a few starts, you morons are calling him a racist?

  7. deolly

    October 19, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    You should ask real madrid what happens to them when makelele left; chelsea were lucky they have young dude that could that could replace him;taking over from the best is not easy so i dont expect him to please everybody but he is one of the best; may be when we buy another person we will know how good he is and i need you to look at the double pivot of garcia and toure then you will know how lucky we are

  8. Fintan Bradley

    October 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    @George are you talking to me?

  9. Nessi

    October 20, 2012 at 1:21 am

    Mikel is a gud player staying at d back,,, lets giv dis young talented boi who’s name ROMEU more chances to play,,, wat of if mikel got injured,,, 4 meRomeu is d suitest guy cos notin lik blocking 4 but attacking force,,,Romeu is d best…

  10. joseph

    October 20, 2012 at 2:24 am

    The right title is:
    is this … to replace Lampard?
    why you are so morons

  11. Jonas Sweden

    October 20, 2012 at 3:15 am

    Your view on Mikel is the opposite of what he is really all about. Can´t understand how many that don´t seem to know ANYTHING about what a player in Mikels role is supposed to do on the pitch. Not making goals or assists? WHO CARES! Have you seen how he almost always wins the balls in 50/50 situations. Cuts off the enemeys play when we lose the ball and the whole team is in bad positions. He does SO MUCH for the team and has done it for so many successful years now. We have had MANY coaches, and he has been a starter for like 95% of the games. So Mourinho, Ancelotti, Di Matteo doesn´t understand that he is bad? All of these coaches now how important the DM-role is. But fans who does only understand stats like goals and assists keeps on ranting, every year, about who we should replace him with. It´s retarded.

  12. tosyno51

    October 20, 2012 at 4:46 am

    Some people jst don’t know what to post so they come here to post irrelevant things. Who said mikel is a bad player. Some pple jst don’t know the role of a DM. Anytym terry,luiz Α̲̅πϑ even ivanovic goes up front. Mikel is left alone at the back. ThankGod we hv a player dats nt too attack minded lyk d others. Check the stats b4 you post anything *just saying*

  13. Benjamin

    October 20, 2012 at 5:38 am

    For critizing mikel is out of mentality,some people just open thier mouth for air to just comes out,infact in chelsea team now mikel was the only player dat can co-ordinate the field,i don’t know why people don’t just think before they talk

  14. Whykay

    October 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    I think Mikel is doing a great job for Chelsea FC. Pls, watch the match against Genk, Ramires played the defensive midfield role but couldn’t play it like Mikel. He was always joining the attacking midfielders thereby leaving his primary role of linking the defence with the attack. That was why we couldn’t control the game because the defenders resorted to playing long balls which didnt help chelsea. I think Mikel is a great player, if not Chelsea would have sold him.

  15. Cassidy

    October 22, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Quite unfortunate the way human beings reason.Must every player score goals? Is it possible to have attacking midfielders witout defensive midfielders? Let’s leave sentiments aside. The same Mikel we’re talking about played in the same position when Makalele, Balack, Essien, Baletti where all in the team. He was found worthy by the “only one” (Mou). Must he be hated because Mou changed his position which ofcourse he is rated without sentiment as one of the best in the world today. His team mates are proud of him because he gives them cover. If you doubt me ask JT and Lamp including Chelsea new boys (Mata, Hazard and Oscar).

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