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Mikel's agent dismisses exit rumors, Internazionale links

Clive Brunskill

When Mikel took to the Anfield pitch on Sunday, it was only his 10th Premier League start this season, matching the total he achieved in his debut season for the club in 2006/07.  Is this a sign that things have come full circle for the now 27-year-old midfielder?  Certainly many tabloids seem to think so.  Not so his agent however.

"It's all part of the transfer speculations. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing like that. [The link with Inter] is just a rumour. We heard a similar thing that he was going to Galatasaray last season."

-source: Daily Times Nigeria

In fairness, Mikel has struggled to consistently get into the Chelsea lineup over the last three seasons and can probably thank Roberto Di Matteo's tactics and Oriol Romeu's injuries for maintaining his 20+ Premier League (30+ in all competitions) appearance streak.

Somewhat surprisingly, Mourinho's return hasn't signaled a renaissance for Mikel.  Early on, the man who brought him to Chelsea preferred the combination of Lampard and Ramires instead, while Matic's arrival in January and David Luiz's emergence as a good midfield option have bumped the recently-impressively-mohawked goal-machine further down the depth chart.  Often, Mikel's been reduced to late substitute appearances designed to lock-down the opposition and help see out narrow Chelsea wins.  While it's wonderful to have such an option off the bench, Mikel's talents - just like Ramires's - are most suited to a three-man midfield, which has not been our Plan A all season.  It would be quite understandable then if Mikel were looking to leave for more playing time (and perhaps hangout-time with pal Salomon Kalou at Lille) even with three years still left on his contract.

"Mikel is a fighter who will like to stay and fight for his place in Chelsea."

-source: Daily Times Nigeria

Good.  Good.  Not surprising sentiment from a guy who called on the team to never again disgrace themselves with the icky Europa League.  Though this one may be a tougher fight.

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