Is This The Right Man To Replace John Obi Mikel?
A post by one of our resident Chelsea fans – Fintan Bradley – on whether youngster Oriel Romeu is the right man to replace the inconsistent John Obi Mikel.
A post by one of our resident Chelsea fans – Fintan Bradley – on whether Oriel Romeu is the right man to replace John Obi Mikel.
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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