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Chelsea hero John Mikel Obi joined Championship side Middlesbrough in January, and the 31-year-old has been in stunning form in the Championship club.

The experienced midfielder has made 14 league appearances for Middlesbrough and has used his experience to help Boro pick up form and is fighting for a place back in the Premier League.

The Nigeria international is well respected by his Boro teammates and even the manager Tony Pulis, and has skippered Boro in their last two games, with Boro the winning side on both occasions.

Mikel captained Tony Pulis’ side in a 1-0 victory over Hull City at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday, having first taken the armband in their midweek 2-0 win away at Bolton Wanderers.

The Champions League winner has now admitted that he’s honoured to captain Middlesbrough.

“It is always nice to be the captain, to lead the team,” Mikel told the BBC.

”Great team, great players, great lads too, so it is always nice, it is always positive. I am really honoured to have captained the team in the last two games.

”Hopefully we can keep winning games, I think that is the most important thing.”

Middlesbrough had been on a seven-game winless run, but since Mikel became captain, they have won their last two games.

The Nigeria international was a Chelsea player for 10 years prior to the arrival of Conte, and was frozen out of the first team before being sold to China in January 2017.

Mikel never featured for Chelsea under Antonio Conte, and the Nigerian had claimed that Antonio Conte showed him a lack of respect prior to his departure.

He told The Sun about his time in Chelsea back in June 2018: “Definitely it was the right time [to leave] because when you have a manager who…you have to come in whoever you are – manager or player – there are people who have been there before who made this club what it is today.

“Chelsea is nowhere near what it was 10, 15 years ago. There are players that build and build and build, then it’s all about respect.

“When you don’t get that from a manager who comes in and after five minutes decides to make a change you deal with it, you move on.

“My connection with the club has not changed because of the manager or because of a certain person.

“My relationship with the club remains. I am a blue and I want to remain that way for years and years to come.”

About the Author

Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.