The reason behind the conversion of captain of the senior Nigeria national team John Obi Mikel from a midfielder to a central defender has been revealed.
Mikel shone in his new role as the heart of the defence of his Chinese team Tianjin Teda helping them pick their first point of the season, and also their first clean sheet in the two weeks old Chinese League.
His conversion from a midfielder to a central defender by Spanish coach Jaime Pacheco was done to help the team snuff out aerial threat from opposition, and also aid their style of play of building from the rear.
The Super Eagles captain didn’t disappoint in the role, as he won most of his aerial duels and also sprayed nice passes from the back to help his team set up attack.
His performance against Jiangsu Suning was roundly praised by the media, especially the ease at which he intercepted passes with near faultless reading of play.
It is also worthy to note that, it is not the first time he has played as a central defender because last season under interim Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink he played the second half of their Premier game against Swansea City as a central defender replacing Matt Miazga who had a nightmarish time against Bafetembi Gomis.
* Osas Mahawi