Middlesbrough gave their push for promotion a boost last Sunday after they were able to beat Blackburn 1-0 at Ewood Park in another game where John Obi Mikel impressed.
Mikel joined Middlesbrough last month as a free agent after leaving Chinese Super League outfit Tianjin TEDA to help Tony Pulis’ side in their quest to return to the Premier League, and he has been doing just that with some excellent performances.
All things considered, the 31-year-old looks to be one of the smartest transfers made in January.
“I’m pleased to get him in. He is a man with a lot of experience and quality,” were Pulis’ first words (via Middlesbrough official club website) on Mikel following his arrival at the Riverside.
“He has a winning mentality and he wants to be here be a part of what we are looking to achieve,” the Middlesbrough boss added.
It is early days, but the above is what the Riverside faithful have already seen from their new man in addition to so much more.
On top of that winning mentality Pulis has spoken about, Mikel has also brought a lot of quality to the team on the pitch.
In the middle of the park, the Nigeria international has been a passing machine, remaining neat and tidy in possession with opposition players unable to get anywhere near him when he has the ball at his feet.
The above has always been a strength of Mikel’s and is something some of his previous managers at Chelsea were probably guilty of not utilising after giving the Middlesbrough man mainly ball-winning responsibilities.
However, under Pulis, Mikel is now playing his game and is absolutely flourishing as a result.