Mikel, 27, endured a difficult time at Chelsea last season, starting just 15 games under Jose Mourinho as the Blues chose to play Nemanja Matic, Frank Lampard, Ramires and even David Luiz in midfield over Mikel. It's particularly frustrating given the effort it took to get Mikel to the club back in 2006. The former Lyn Oslo star had agreed a £4m move to Manchester United, but turned his back on the Red Devils in order to sign for Chelsea, who had to pay the Red Devils £12m and Lyn £4m to resolve the messy situation.
Now, the £16m remains down the pecking order, with Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas snapped up to replace Lampard as the club's goalscoring midfielder. The former Arsenal captain isn't the only new signing, as Atletico Madrid duo Filipe Luis and striker Diego Costa also arrived at Stamford Bridge.
Alongside returning loanees Thibaut Courtois and Kurt Zouma and ex-Blues legend Didier Drogba, Chelsea look to have a strong squad ahead of the new season - and Mikel believes that the existing crop of players can pass on some positive traits to the club's new signings, and that they have the quality to push the club towards glory this term.
"The character and the belief that we have in this team, from the players that have been here a long time, I’m sure that will transform into the new players," said Mikel. "It’s always a big pressure playing for this club. You always expect to win trophies every year so I’m sure the new players that have come in will help us win more trophies."
Having finished third in the Premier League last season and got to the semi-finals of the Champions League, last term showed that the club are close to challenging on both fronts - and Mikel could well be right that the latest signings will give Chelsea the extra edge this season.