Rohr: Better for Mikel to play in China than stay at Chelsea

Rohr: Better for Mikel to play in China than stay at Chelsea
January 04
11:19 2017

Gernot Rohr, Super Eagles technical adviser, says it is better for his captain John Obi Mikel to play with any top Chinese club than‎ continue in his non-playing role at Chelsea.

Mikel has been completely out of the Chelsea team not even making the bench for once this season, after missing the club’s pre-season in order to lead the Dream Team to the Rio Olympics.

Although he has a bronze medal to show for that effort, it cost him a place in the plans of Antonio Conte, Chelsea coach.

‎Rohr has now urged Mikel to sign for a club in Europe if he gets a good offer but if he doesn’t, he should go for a Chinese team offering him some good money.

“Why not if Mikel goes for the money in China?” Rohr asked journalists at a press conference in Lagos on Tuesday.

“It will be fine if he can get to play for one of the best top Chinese teams than being without a club or what happened last year [2016] when he was not playing at all.”

Rohr acknowledged that it would have been a great opportunity if the Eagles had qualified to play at the African Cup of Nations in Gabon, but he said there was still enough time for the team to bond together.

“I am very optimistic Nigeria will qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia,” he said.

“We play our home games at the beautiful stadium in Uyo with green grass, and I look forward to next game when we have to play there again. The team is together and when a team is together their heart is together and they live together as a family.”

He revealed that the Eagles were not motivated by money but by the opportunity to play at the FIFA World Cup, hence they are ready to sacrifice so much to fulfill the ambition.

“Every country has their challenges. We are progressing game to game,” he said.

“See what they did the last time with their money, buying the tickets to honor the call by their country. It tells you how determined they are. Our players have more motivation than the money they stand to get.

“Lots of other countries too have their challenges; these problems are not new to me. That is why the January transfer window will address all these issues as players can move to other clubs.

“Its important that our players play regularly for their clubs. A player like Musa Mohammed must change his team so he can start playing regularly.

“We are looking for players who are playing regularly and including players also with dual nationality who have the quality we need. I have seen all the players in their different clubs; they are working well and are motivated.”

Rohr said that going into the World Cup qualifiers, which resumes in August 2018, he can not be sure which Eagles player will be the team’s regular striker, as there is a very long time to go.

“Its long time and months to be able to determine which player will be the teams top striker; its still a long way to go,” he said.

“Aside Kelechi Iheanacho and Odion Ighalo and others, there is also Oghenekaro Etebo whom I have seen and then Victor Oshimen who is now progressing.

“Right now, after two games, we are leading the group with six points; our destiny is in our hands.

“Other countries too have problems and challenges but we are motivated and the NFF is doing all they can to motivate the team. We have seen our opponents and we are definitely better than Cameroon and Algeria.”



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