John Obi Mikel holds the key to Middlesbrough’s promotion fate because at the middle of the pitch he is second to none, while his long-range passes have helped turn defence into an attack on numerous occasions.
Mikel’s fitness level is no longer a source of concern for Pulis; therefore, the former West Brom manager is assured he has a strong and physical player who will provide a great shield for his back four.
The player’s experience is another reason why Middlesbrough must rely so much on him in their charge for promotion.
He has played over 500 career games, won several trophies during his time with Chelsea and lifted one AFCON trophy with Nigeria’s National team.
Mikel is presently the fans favourite, meaning he will play a massive role in ensuring that fans often turn out in large numbers to support the team in their race for promotion.
The more Mikel wows the fans with scintillating and match-winning displays, the higher the number of fans support which would motivate the players to win more matches.