Former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has revealed that the club sent him to play for Norwegian club Lyn before signing him, due to complications with a work permit.
The Nigerian's transfer to Chelsea was complicated, having signed a pre-contract with Manchester United, but he has revealed that the Blues wanted him a year earlier.
Speaking to the Athletic, Mikel revealed that Chelsea had plans for him and sent him to Norway before signing him.
The Blues signed Mikel from Norwegian club Lyn, but were involved in his move to Norway before bringing him to Stamford Bridge.
Mikel said: "I had been sent by Chelsea to play there because I was not 18. I was from Africa and needed to play a certain amount of games (to get a permit).
“They sent me there to play, to be at a school and study so I could join at 18 when my age was right. Nothing could be signed while I was still 17.”
This tactic proved to be a smart idea, showing that Chelsea had faith in the player and would do everything to bring him to London despite not being able to qualify for a work permit at 17.
The Blues needed him to play games and helped him move to Norway, paying for his education before signing him in the future.
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