Mikel picks Loftus-Cheek, Chalobah as future of Chelsea

Mikel Obi

Super Eagles skipper, Mikel Obi, obviously is approaching the end of his 11-year career at Chelsea.

The 29-year-old, who hasn’t made any appearance for the Blues this season, is yet to be offered a contract extension with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season.

However, the Nigerian, who is currently Chelsea’s second longest-serving player after John Terry, has so far been impressed with two youngsters at the club.

Understandably, both players, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Nathaniel Chalobah, just like Mikel, are midfielders.

Despite the duo only featuring twice this season, Mikel believes they have shown enough to be tagged the future of England and Chelsea.

“Why not?” Mikel told Goal when asked about the duo’s international prospects.

“I think they are now doing it for the Under-21s so I think they will. Loftus-Cheek is a great player, Chalobah is a good player.

“If they want to play for England then they will have a role to play one day. England has a massive load of talent out there so they have to work hard and make sure that in the years to come that they will still be there,” the Nigerian added.

Chalobah who joined Chelsea in 2010, waited for an extra six years before making his debut while Loftus-Cheek had an almost smooth sail to the first team.

The pair have now become an integral part of Antonio Conte’s side and will definitely become one of the best with time according to Mikel.

“They are all very, very good players, you can see the future of Chelsea right there,” he added.

“I am sure that these players will play a massive role at this football club for many years to come. Loftus-Cheek, everyone knows who he is and he has played a few games for the first team.

“It is about mentality, how bad do you want it. That’s what we tell the young players [at Chelsea], it can’t be given to you, you have to work for it. You have to show the manager in training, you have to show in games that you want to play for this football club.

“Not just when you have the ball, off the ball is the most important time, what are you doing to help the team? I think they are listening.”

Mikel is currently with the Super Eagles as they prepare to battle Zambia on Sunday in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.