It's been a summer that began with the stated intention of brining in just a couple major signings, but has now developed into one that looks to shake things up a lot more.
Even more so than any purchases, it's been the departures that have shaped the new Chelsea landscape so far. Frank Lampard: gone. David Luiz: sold. Ashley Cole: probably gone. Hilario: gone. That last one hurts. More may be on the way, especially if Chelsea do indeed end up further reinforcing the midfield (and not just the attacking end of it). One player who definitely isn't looking to leave, regardless of any signings, is John Obi Mikel.
Speaking ahead of Monday's round of 16 match between Nigeria and France, the Chelsea anchor-man had the following welcome message for Fabregas.
"I don't have a problem with the signing of Cesc Fabregas. We have played against each other a lot of times. We don't play in the same position anyway."
"Chelsea are my home away from home, my second home. You never know what's going to happen in football, but I'm very happy at Chelsea and I want to remain at Chelsea."
"I still have three years left on my contract and want to stay there. I want to congratulate Cesc with his transfer and I'm looking forward to playing with him."
-Mikel; source: Mail
Mikel (and friends) and Fàbregas (and friends) famously tussled back in the day, but players probably have shorter memories of any such minor incidents than fans, so it's not surprising that Mikel is welcoming the ex-Arsenal man without any reservations. But I do find it amusing that Mikel doesn't rate Fàbregas's defensive abilities either, since this seems to be one of the main points of contention as we try to guess just how Chelsea's new number 4 will be utilized by Mourinho.
We often talk about loyalty between clubs and players. Mikel, who broke into the Chelsea first-team as a 19-year-old under Mourinho, may be an ultimately limited player, especially when compared to the likes of Nemanja Matić, but as a faithful Chelsea servant for the past eight years, I'd be more than happy to have him stay and be an option in the midfield. So I hope he does.