John Obi Mikel admits he is disappointed at his lack of opportunities at Chelsea – but he wouldn’t swap that with his Olympic success with Nigeria.
The midfielder is yet to play for his club this campaign, as Antonio Conte works hard to improve last season’s tenth place finish in the Premier League.
Gernot Rohr has suggested that his captain’s lack of domestic first-team action is down to his decision to represent the Super Eagles in the Rio Olympics this summer
Mikel told the Sun: “I have never been a guy who makes excuses in life and never shy away from responsibilities.
“Yes, maybe people will say the new manager was upset I left and went to the Olympics, that I didn’t have a pre-season with the team. He probably thinks I don’t care about the team, things like that.”
Mikel was talking to the press after scoring for Nigeria in their 3-1 win over Algeria in their World Cup qualifier on Saturday, but he didn’t’ discuss the rumours that he will leave the London club in January.
He added: “But I don’t want to use those excuses. I have to keep training hard and make sure I change the manager’s mind. If not, then we’ll see what happens in January.
“But, no, I would never swap my Olympic medal for a place back in the Chelsea team. One thing you have to do in life as a man is that when you make a decision, or a sacrifice, you have to deal with it.
“You have to stand by your decision. You have to live with it. I have not one single regret in going to the Olympics. And I will not trade my medal for anything.”
The 29-year-old is the Blues’ longest serving player after captain and former England international John Terry.
Despite that he has found himself out of favour in regards to Conte’s 3-4-3 formation as Nemanja Matic and new signing N’Golo Kante fill the central midfield berths.
Chelsea have adapted quickly to Conte’s requests and currently sit third in the table behind Liverpool and Manchester City, with Eden Hazard looking like the player that won the Player of the Year award in 2015.
Culled from Squawka