The manager of the Nigerian football team has revealed that John Obi Mikel is not playing for Chelsea because of off-field issues, as he waits to make his first appearance under Antonio Conte.
The midfielder is in his 11th season at the club after choosing the Londoners over Manchester United in 2006, and is now the second longest serving player after John Terry.
Gernot Rohr was talking to the media ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Algeria and explained that he had recently conducted the club to defend his captain.
He said: “Mikel was punished by Chelsea for playing at the Olympics for Nigeria. The new coach tried convincing him to stay but he went to defend his nation. I cannot punish him for not playing in his club”
The player has admitted that he may have to make a decision on his future in January if the situation continues. He has played just under 250 league games for the club during the most successful period in their history.
Since arriving at the club he has won two Premier League titles, four FA Cups and both European trophies.
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