By Calista Jacob-Akpan
Middlesbrough fans have appealed to Nigeria international Mikel Obi to stay with the championship side at least for another season.
The Super Eagles captain waited till the last day of the regular season before netting his maiden goal for Middlesbrough in their 2-1 win against Rotherham United at the New York Stadium on Sunday.
The victory meant nothing to Boro and their fans as the 73 points they garnered in the Championship season could not guarantee them a place in the top six positions after Derby County defeated West Brom 3-1 in a simultaneous game.
Speaking after the game, the former Chelsea stalwart strongly hinted that he was not extending his contract with Middlesbrough, stressing he has options elsewhere and wants to win trophies.
Even though Boro were disappointing for most of the season, Mikel proved to be an inspired signing as his vast experience and calmness on the ball steadied the midfield.
Middlesbrough fans may not want Tony Pulis to stay but they certainly want the 32 year old midfielder to stay, with his contract due to expire next month.
A fan, Lesley Poole with Twitter handle @lellyk07, saying, “Shall we all chip in and help Middlesbrough sign Mikel Obi . Please stay, while chris @chris added, “Hope your staying as it’s been a pleasure to watch you.
Another fan, John Chambers hopes Mikel becomes a player-manager next season. “New player manager next season John Obi,” he tweeted via @JohnChambers001.
JF @alilbitofflame also said, “Stay, please. Just try next season”, while Alan Hunton said via @huntyhouse, “Good technical player but zero pace.Time to move on. Lost the ball virtually never, in his first four games and then regularly thereafter. Odd.”
Mikel appeared in nineteen matches across all competitions for Middlesbrough and captained the club in their last six games in the EFL Championship.