Chelsea’s interim manager, Guus Hiddink, believes Mikel Obi is a talented player, one with many qualities that should not at any point be ignored by any good coach.John Obi Mikel

Hiddink spoke after Chelsea defeated Crystal Palace 3-0 in an away fixture on Sunday, a match that saw the Nigerian midfielder impress in a central midfield role.

Speaking of Mikel, Hiddink said:

“He played very well as he also did in the previous games. He’s the ideal player in my option to bring balance to the team.

“If the team is not willing to defend well or have the right balance then you concede a lot of goals. I thought John Obi can be one of the key figures in getting the balance back. On top of that the talented players can then explore their qualities.

“He can recover the radar. He knows the game very well. He knows where the strength of the opponent is and he knows exactly how to cope with that. He has a very good eye, a very good nose, and a very good sense of where to recover.

“He doesn’t do it in a very brutal way – he’s very, very elegant. What I like to see very much is not just a quality player but a player who can defend so smoothly. It’s beautiful to see. He doesn’t lose many balls, he’s good in short passing. I don’t expect and I don’t ask him to make the decisive final pass. He can but no, we let the other players do that,” said Hiddink of Mikel’s secret qualities which he explored to the fullest against Palace.