Former Blues midfielder John Mikel Obi has joined Championship side Middlesbrough on a free transfer.
The 31-year-old has signed a short-term contract with the side managed by Tony Pulis who are currently fifth in England’s second tier. Mikel had most recently been at Tianjin TEDA, where he scored three league goals in 31 appearances during his two years in China.
At Chelsea, the Nigerian was renowned for saving his best performances for the big occasion, and his highlight in a Blues shirt came on our greatest night of all, the 2012 Champions League final, when he produced a masterful midfield display. He had been outstanding in both legs of the epic semi-final victory over Barcelona, too.
A strong, powerful midfielder with excellent positional sense and a sure touch, Mikel was a consistent presence in our team during his time in west London. He left in 2017 having won the Premier League twice, the FA Cup four times, the League Cup twice, and the Champions League and Europa League, too.
His value to the team was always keenly felt by those who managed him and played alongside him during his 372 appearances for the Blues, and that figure puts him in the very top bracket of foreign players to have represented Chelsea. At the time of his departure, only Petr Cech, Didier Drogba and Branislav Ivanovic had made more.
Middlesbrough host League Two side Newport County in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.