After spending 11 years with Chelsea between 2006 and 2017, Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel left Stamford Bridge to seek the riches of the Chinese Super League in the shape of Tianjin TEDA.
Mikel, who famously agreed to join Manchester United before changing his mind at the final moment, made 374 appearances in all competitions for the Blues – winning two Premier League titles, four FA Cups and one Champions League in the process.
He failed to make a single appearance under Antonio Conte in the first half of the 2016-17 campaign, however, and was allowed to leave in January after being granted a free transfer.
On Saturday, Chelsea’s official Twitter account paid tribute to the Nigerian, who has turned 30.
When analysing ‘legends’ at Stamford Bridge, Mikel is not exactly a name that springs to mind alongside the likes of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Gianfranco Zola, but it appears that the defensive midfielder made a lasting impression on the Chelsea supporters.
Mikel’s trophy cabinet also indicates that he was perhaps under-valued at Stamford Bridge.
We also wish John Mikel Obi a very happy birthday! ???? pic.twitter.com/i84Qpv0whT
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 22, 2017
— AC27 (@ChemjongCFC) April 22, 2017
— Harry Chan (@HarryChan01) April 22, 2017
— Ryan (@kingxconte) April 22, 2017
— ✘Aditya✘ (@Conte_F9T) April 22, 2017
— Conte (@purtofc) April 22, 2017
— David Burke ???????? (@daithidb65) April 22, 2017
— Mosehdibaddest (@mosesmusiex) April 22, 2017
— Harry Robertson (@ShedLowerHR) April 22, 2017