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John Obi Mikel returns to the Super Eagles

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Julian Finney - Getty Images

Good news for Nigeria fans: John Obi Mikel is back in the international fold. Although the Chelsea midfielder had been dropped under strange circumstances of late, some very poor results for the Super Eagles led to demands for his recall (from government officials, no less!), and now he's back:

Whether or not Mikel can save Nigeria from failing to qualify for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations remains an open question. The Super Eagles were very poor in midfield during their 2-2 draw against Liberia earlier this month, and having a starting-calibre player at Chelsea come into their ranks will surely solidify matters. The return leg is one that Nigeria should win. Then again, so was the first one.

Part of me is tempted to hope that Nigeria doesn't qualify, because if they do Chelsea run the risk of having one of their... um... three central midfielders missing for January. But realistically, Mikel's under-appreciated enough that I'd be very happy to see him leading his country on a charge into a major tournament. Good luck to him.