Former Chelsea star Joe Cole has said the club are yet to find a replacement for John Obi-Mikel.
The 42-year-old Cole was a teammate with Mikel at Chelsea for four years (2006 to 2010) before the former England international joined Liverpool ahead of the 2010/11 season.
At Chelsea, both players won the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Community Shield.
Reflecting on how Mikel ended up becoming an important player at Chelsea, Cole said on Mikel’s podcast Obi One.
”There was a big furore because of the Manchester United connection, in the press it was like ‘did he sign for Manchester United’ Alex Ferguson was furious, Chelsea was fighting for him and I said to myself he must be a hell of a player. He must be unbelievable because everyone wanted him.
“Coming to the club and choosing to play in the defensive position he had a harder job than anyone because he had to dislodge Claude Makelele. And Chelsea were very smart because they probably got John in thinking Makelele has to go in a few years and John’s going to come in and we saw the career he went on to have, he was a top, top player.
“I played with Michael Carrick at West Ham as well and such players are not appreciated while you are there because they are just doing their job. All the little things on the pitch that need doing they did and like Makelele and Carrick it’s only when they are gone that you realize how good they are and I don’t think Chelsea have replaced him (Mikel).
Cole added: “So we’ve had Makelele, John Obi Mikel and I’m hoping Caicedo will be that guy but we need someone in that anchor.”
Mikel helped the Blues land a first UEFA Champions League title in 2012 and was part of the side that won the 2012/13 Europa League title.
However, the 2013 AFCON winner departed the club in 2017. He is now retired.