John Obi Mikel Warns Under 30s Against Moving To China
There has been a lot of players going over to China to play in the Chinese Super League in recent years but after returning to England John Obi Mikel has once piece of advice, don't go if you're under 30.
In recent years the Chinese Super League has promised big money to any player willing to pack up his bags and leave western football for a crack at the ever growing CSL.
Some huge names like Carlos Tevez, Oscar, Hulk and Marouane Fellaini have moved to the Far East in recent years, moving from the likes of Boca Juniors, Chelsea, Manchester United and many others.
Money is the main reason for any player to make the huge move but the quality is clearly not on the level as the top leagues in Europe, South America or even the MLS.
John Obi Mikel was one of the players to move to China in 2017, leaving Chelsea to join Tianjin TEDA. The Nigerian lasted just two seasons and moved back to England in January to join Middlesbrough in the Championship.
In an interview with the Telegraph the 31 year old has revealed that anyone under the age of 30 shouldn't move to the CSL, saying:
"My advice to anyone thinking about going, is have a long think about it," he explained. "You have to go at the right time.
"I certainly wouldn't say to anyone under the age of 30 to go there. They will regret it if they do.
"It's worth doing for a couple of years, if only to learn a different culture, to give yourself an experience that takes you out of your comfort zone, but do not be tempted by the money if you are young. Do your research, check what sort of club you are going to over there.
"You should wait until you are approaching the end of your career. The money makes the move tempting, we're only human, but do not be tempted by the size of the cheque if you are in the prime of your career. It's not worth it."
Mikel did say he didn't regret the move to Tianjin, adding, "I did wonder if I had made a big mistake. But looking back, I will never say I regret it. I missed my family a lot. They came over maybe twice a year and liked it when they visited, but they were the main reason I had to come back."
Even those like Paulinho and Axel Witsel who have returned to play in Europe haven't really spoken about their time in China so it's interesting to see Mikel be so honest.
Would you move to China if you were a footballer? Who will the next big name to move over?