The former Chelsea midfielder sealed a move to Chinese Super League outfit, Tianjin TEDA, almost a fortnight ago, making him the latest Premier League player to move to the far east. The midfielder who was offered a package worth around £140,000 per week for three years.
Explaining the reason for his defection, the Super Eagles’ captain, said his move to Tianjin Teda on a three-year deal wasn’t all about money, despite the fact that he will be getting double his former pay in China, Mikel Obi stressed that his move was in order to get playing time, and primarily to aid Nigeria’s push to be at the 2018 World Cup in Brazil.
The 29-year old made his debut in their pre-season 2-1 defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach in a friendly game played on Wednesday, January 11. He also scored for the club in his team’s 6-2 loss to St. Pauli over the weekend.
Mikel who was frozen out of the first-team picture by Chelsea coach, Antonio Conte, has however remained a regular pick for the national team duties, despite his lack of games at club level.
Mikel Obi has reportedly been paid £2 million (N763 million) by Chelsea as a severance package upon his move to Chinese club Tianjin TEDA. According to reports, the fee was in recognition of his services to the club for 10 and a half years. It was calculated as the remaining six months of his Chelsea contract up front which was expected to expire in the summer.
Mikel’s deal with Tianjin TEDA will expire December 2019.