Conte Explains Why Mikel Had To Leave Chelsea

Published on: 06 January 2017

Chelsea coach Antonio Conte has sent his best wishes to Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel following his transfer to Chinese Super League club Tianjin Teda.

The Italian manager admitted that he was an important player but had to move on to greener pastures after ten and a half years at Stamford Bridge.“First of all, it’s important to say thanks to Obi for this period he worked with me, ” Conte told

“He showed always a great attitude and great behaviour with me and I wish him and his family the best.

“Obi played many years with this club, he won a lot with this club and he was a really important player, but I think there are moments you want to change, to find a new experience, and for this reason I wish for him the best.”

Mikel’s contract with Tianjin Teda will run out at the end of the 2019 season having agreed a three-year deal.