Former Chelsea stalwart John Mikel Obi has paid glowing tribute to his former Chelsea teammate Michael Essien for his tremendouss help during their time together at the London based club.

At the height of their careers the two African players plied their trade for Chelsea where they won several titles and has credited the Ghanaian for helping his Chelsea career enormously.

The duo won several English Premier League titles, FA Cups and also lifted the club's first ever Champions League title in 2012 among others.

Mikel Obi who joined the blues in 2006 after swerving Man United, divided a lot of opinions among Chelsea fans and was loathed by some for his constant back passes when at times there were forward passes he could pick.

In the eyes of many he always played safety first football but that notwithstanding John Mikel Obi proved a lot of his critics wrong as he outlived several Chelsea coaches and played a vital role in Chelsea's trophy haul.

He has opened up about his time with the London side in an interview with the athletic and has been effusive about Michael Essien.

"I was sitting next to Lassana Diarra. I'd be there thinking, 'Oh my God, it's Didier Drogba. It's Frank Lampard. It's John Terry.

“Michael Essien (who joined from Lyon in the summer of 2005) really helped me. Michael always told me I was a good player and just reminded me to bring the ball down, control and pass. If you need to dribble, dribble,” Mikel Obi said.

The former Super Eagles captain added, “If you don't need to, just pass. You are strong. You are fast, too," continued the Nigerian. If you can, just push the ball past and run, run, run because they cannot catch you. He was the guy who really helped me and made me have a lot of confidence.”