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Mikel: Former Chelsea star should forget about the NPFL, Goal readers

8:42 AM WAT 12/05/2021
John Obi Mikel Nigeria 2018
The Nigerian football icon has been advised against considering a return to the Nigerian elite division

John Obi Mikel should not consider the prospect of returning to the Nigeria Professional Football League, according to Goal readers.

After a brief stint with Turkish Super Lig outfit Trabzonspor, the former Super Eagles captain teamed up with English Championship side Stoke City on a short-term deal.

Nevertheless, his contract with the Potters expires at the end of the 2020-21 campaign and he is expected to continue his professional career.

As speculation continues to grow on the destination of the former Chelsea midfielder, we asked our readers if he should follow the footsteps of Ahmed Musa and return to the Nigerian topflight where it all started.

In a poll conducted on Goal Africa Twitter handle, a massive 60.9 percent of total votes cast advised him to forget about the prospect of lacing his boots for any Nigerian league outfit.

Mikel starred for Plateau United before Lyn Oslo after an impressive outing at the 2003 U17 World Cup Finland. In view of that, 29.5 percent support the gesture that he should return home.

Meanwhile, 9.7% of voters are undecided if he should return to the NPFL or not.

For veteran coach Henry Makinwa, should the 34-year-old consider a switch home, it would be a "massive win" for the Nigerian top flight.

“That would be highly welcomed if he can consider that option,” former Abia Warriors and Katsina United boss Makinwa told Goal.

“I once wrote about this many years back but that could not stand then. If he does that, we will welcome him back home.

“It would be a massive win for the NPFL and the local fans. I made the same appeal to our qualified Nigerian coaches abroad like Finidi George, Emmanuel Amuneke, Haruna Doda and so on to come home so that we can build the country’s football together.”

In the 2020-21 campaign, Mikel featured in 39 English second-tier games as Michael O'Neill’s men finished in 14th place after accruing 60 points from 46 outings.

He was nominated for Stoke City’s Player of the Month award for April following his stirring performances, albeit, Jacob Brown picked the individual accolade.