Former ?Chelsea midfielder and fan favourite Mikel John Obi has explained after all these years why he chose to sign for the Blues instead of Manchester United back in 2006, and his reasoning shows just how thoughtful the man is.
Mikel was in huge demand, and it had boiled down to either signing for Chelsea, or joining Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. A massive decision for an 18-year-old to make, and he explained exactly why he picked Stamford Bridge.
“I had all these people on both sides fighting over me,” began Mikel, in his column in The Players’ Tribune.
“Agents, managers, strangers, guys handing me papers. I had Sir Alex Ferguson calling me on the phone on one side. And I had Roman Abramovich on the other side, putting me up in London, hiding me somewhere where only a few people knew where I was. It was really confusing, and I was a kid, you know?
“After a while, someone from FIFA gave me a phone call. They said, ‘Listen, we know you’re young and you have these two clubs fighting over you. We can’t decide for you. You can only go where you want. You have to tell us.’
“I thought about it for a long time. It was the biggest decision of my life.
“You know what made my mind up? Chelsea had signed three other players from Nigeria along with me. They were staying with me at the house in London to keep me company.
“These guys…their lives depended on the decision I was making. If I went to United, they were gone. If I went to Chelsea, they were going to have a career. No matter how long it lasted, that was important to me. Just to give them a chance, you know?
“I chose Chelsea, and four lives changed that day.”