Posted on: Mon 23 Oct 2006

Mikel Jon Obi has impressed many, including his manager during his first week training at Chelsea.


 That is good work considering he has been out of competitive action since November. He's been talking about staying fit.


When the Norwegian season ended without his transfer to Chelsea having been settled, the 19 year-old midfielder headed for Nigeria.


"I had a personal trainer when I went back home," Mikel says. "I also played a lot of football there with my previous club.


"I did a lot of personal training and running every morning and played football in the evenings just to keep fit.


"It was very difficult, it was very boring and sometimes I got down. But for all I knew it was definitely going to end like this, end happily with me coming to Chelsea.


"It is where I have been wanting to play. I can now play for the club of my dreams.


"Mentally it made me very strong," he says of his time in the wilderness. "I learnt a lot of things from that, how to trust people."


Now he is determined to make up for the lost months and if he needed a boost, he received one on Wednesday.


 Sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with Jose Mourinho, he heard his new boss claim he could be a world star sooner rather than later.


"The training was all just so that when I came back here I would be able to fit in, and I am enjoying it right now because I'm looking in good condition, not getting too tired.


"For one of the best managers in the world to make such a comment about you, I am very happy about that. I am willing to give him everything, to work with him and give my best to the club."


by Paul Mason