Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel has revealed the reason for his shocking move to China despite receiving offers from football clubs in other countries.
The Super Eagles captain was frozen out of the Chelsea squad and had six months left in his contract with the English club.
The 29-year-old has been accused by some fans of moving to the Chinese Super League for money. But Mikel claims he decided to move to Tianjin Teda on a three year deal in order to get playing time.
He told Owngoalnigeria: “I could easily have stayed in Chelsea for the remaining six months of my contract but it won’t be in the best interest of my nation, as they need me match fit when the World Cup 2018 qualifiers resume.
“It wasn’t an easy decision to make but I seriously need matches to stay fit for Nigeria. Nigerians don’t deserve to miss out of the World Cup after back to back failure to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations”.