Chelsea midfielder makes bold threat to team over playing time

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John Obi Mikel has seen his minutes on the pitch take a nosedive over the last two seasons and is not necessarily a lock to even be a starter for Chelsea next season. Now the Nigerian defensive midfielder appears poised to force the team to make a decision about his future.

According to the Metro, Mikel is threatening to leave Chelsea at the end of the season if he is not assured of a spot on the starting XI by (expected) incoming manager Antonio Conte this summer. He expressed concern that he’d be relegated to the bench and wants to play as much as possible next year – but wants some assurances first.

‘I have one more season with Chelsea but I know when this season ends, we will definitely sit down and try to sort out whatever needs to be sorted out,’ said Mikel.

‘If it means me leaving, fine.

‘If it means me staying, then I have to play because one thing I don’t want to do is to sit on the bench like I did before.’

Mikel has made 26 total appearances for Chelsea this year, with 12 starts and six substitutes in the Premier League along with three starts and one sub in the Champions League.

The midfield was a major liability for Chelsea at the start of the 2015-16 season, with the unit giving up more goals than the bulk of the prior year in just the first half of the season.

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