The Nigeria worldwide had spent a decade on the Blues’ books when one other change within the dugout introduced an Italian tactician to west London.
Conte rapidly deemed Mikel surplus to necessities, regardless of a loyal servant boasting two Premier League titles, three FA Cups, a Champions League crown and Europa League triumph on an enviable CV.
As soon as frozen out a parting of the way turned inevitable and the 31-year-old finally moved on to CSL aspect Tianjin Teda in January 2017.
Mikel is disenchanted at how his time at Chelsea got here to an finish, however the membership nonetheless holds a particular place in his coronary heart no matter Conte’s actions.
He advised The Solar on his time in England: “Undoubtedly it was the precise time [to leave] as a result of when you’ve gotten a supervisor who… you need to are available whoever you might be – supervisor or participant – there are individuals who have been there earlier than who made this membership what it’s at the moment.
“Chelsea was nowhere close to what it’s 10, 15 years in the past. There are gamers that construct and construct and construct, then it’s all about respect.
“While you don’t get that from a supervisor who is available in and after 5 minutes decides to make a change you take care of it, you progress on.
“My reference to the membership has not modified due to the supervisor or due to a sure individual.
“My relationship with the membership stays. I’m a blue and I need to stay that manner for years and years to return.”
Conte could possibly be heading by means of the exits himself this summer season, with Chelsea seemingly prepared to maneuver in a unique path after lacking out on a top-four end in 2017-18.
There are clearly points for the Blues to deal with, with Roman Abramovich’s visa issues and the shelving of stadium improvement plans offering extra unwelcome distractions.
Mikel is, nevertheless, satisfied that the membership will stay a worldwide superpower and that issues on and off the sector will quickly be addressed.
He added: “It doesn’t concern me in any respect. The membership is in actually good palms, run by Marina [Granovskaia] now. She loves the membership.
“I believe she makes choices purely on the betterment of the membership, which is how a membership ought to be run. She does precisely what Roman needs her to do.
“Roman loves the membership. He has devoted his time, cash into this soccer membership. He has made Chelsea what it’s at the moment.
“I don’t care what anybody says, Roman made Chelsea what Chelsea is at the moment and I believe, due to the quantity of wealth he has introduced into this nation, everyone owes him somewhat little bit of appreciation.”