By Akinwale Kasali
Super Eagles captain, Mikel Obi, has joined Championship side, Middlesborough, in the England division one league.
After parting ways with Chinese Club, Tiajin Teda, after two years, the former Chelsea and Lyn Oslo midfielder, decided to retrun to England where his wife and his twins reside.
Mikel, 31, who penned a short term contract with Middlesbrough, was unveiled by the club on Thursday. He also had his first training at the Championship club same day.
The former Chelsea midfielder became a free agent in November after a two-year spell in China with Tianjin Teda. He is expected to boost the promotion chances of the Championship club.
The experienced midfielder, who won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria, spent 11 seasons at Chelsea.
Mikel reportedly sealed the move back to England to join his wife and two young children in the United Kingdom from the Chinese Super League.
At the unveiling ceremony, Mikel said, “For me it’s looking at the project. I spoke to a few clubs and I also spoke to Tony (Pulis). I had a good chat with him. He’s told me where he wants to go with it and it definitely fits with what I want to do. The club wants to get promoted, so hopefully I’m here to help in any way I can.”
He added that his priority would be the team’s success just as he is braced up for the challenge at the club.
“It’s a family club and this is what I want. I like stability and this is why I was at Chelsea for a very long time,” Mikel said.
“We have to put our heads together and help each other. If anyone knows me from my years at Chelsea, I always played for the team. The team comes first and that’s exactly what I’m going to do here. Here is going to be a challenge, but I love challenges.”
Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis said, “I’m pleased to get him in. He is a man with a lot of experience and quality. He has a winning mentality and he wants to be here to be a part of what we are looking to achieve.”
Mikel becomes Pulis’ second signing of the January window, following the arrival of Rajiv van La Parra on loan from Huddersfield Town.
Middlesbrough, who are bidding to return to the Premier League for the first time since 2016-17, are currently fifth in the Championship table.
In another development, forgotten Chelsea midfielder turn right back, Victor Moses, has completed his move to Turkish Super League, after a frustrating season with new coach Maurizio Sarri.
Moses has been frozen out of the team since the exit of Antonio Conte from Stamford Bridge.
Moses has completed a medical before his proposed loan move to Turkish club Fenerbahce.
Moses is set to sign a deal until the end of the season after arriving in Istanbul on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old has made just six appearances for the Blues this season, and has played just 26 minutes in the Premier League.
That is in stark contrast to the previous two seasons, when Moses was a regular at right wing-back under Antonio Conte.
However, Maurizio Sarri’s arrival, and subsequent switch from a back three to a back four, has limited Moses’ game time.
Fenerbahce have won the Turkish title 19 times, but currently lie one place above the Super Lig relegation zone after winning just three matches this season.