Despite another injury ravaged second season in China Super Eagles captain Mikel John Obi once again showed he still has what it takes to play at the top level of European football, helping Tianjin Teda to yet another survival in the CSL season, AOIFootball.com reports.
The former Chelsea midfielder was reduced to just 18 appearances with the Tianjin-based side, scoring three goals and providing two assists, a clear improvement in his first season where he scored just one goal and provided another in eleven CSL games.
However, statistics showed that despite Tianjin struggling on the pitch of play, Mikel was however impressive as he was arguably one of the continent’s best midfielders in a league with plenty of African players.
Mikel was ranked among the best passers in the league as he completed a game average of 84% passes per match which made him the highest among African stars. He also made it to the top 50 of players with key passes as he provided three key passes per game.
What was however surprising was his dribbling skills; Mikel ranked 12th among the best dribblers in the league with a successful rate of 90% which put him ahead of the likes of Oscar, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Odion Ighalo who all finished behind him in terms of take-ons.
For Tianjin, the former Lyn Oslo midfielder, ranked first in terms of dribbles and ground duels covered ahead of Ghanaian Frank Acheampong, whilst he also ranked second in terms of tackles and aerial balls contention.
With Teda narrowly escaping relegation, feelers suggest Mikel might just be making a move back to Europe in January because he is seriously keen on leading Nigeria to AFCON glory next year in Cameroon.