Should Chelsea sacrifice Mikel to keep £8 million midfielder?

Marco van Ginkel fears being the Blues' third-choice holding midfielder. Is a straightforward solution on the cards?

It seems the Van Ginkel saga at Chelsea has taken a significant step forward.

According to reports, the 21-year-old has told the club he wants first-team football, as he fears being third in the pecking order for the holding role in Jose Mourinho's side.

And the Dutchman may now have some leverage, with both Lazio and AC Milan said to be interested in acquiring his services.

A loan move may be on the cards - but a permanent deal remains a strong possibility.

The likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku both wanted first-team football at Stamford Bridge and neither got it. Now, they play their football elsewhere with their Chelsea past just an afterthought.

A simple solution may exist, however. Indeed, it would be puzzling to risk losing a 21-year-old talent with a bright future, when a 27-year-old who appears to offer very little to the side remains.

That 27-year-old, of course, is Mikel and, barring a close relationship with boss Jose Mourinho, there seems to be little keeping him in west London.

Indeed, the Nigerian's friendship with Mourinho is surely the only reason he has been at Chelsea so long, this season becoming their third-longest serving player.

Dynamically, Mikel doesn't add much, while, defensively, someone like Nemanja Matic is far more effective. Why not offload the midfielder, then, to make way for Van Ginkel?

Cesc Fabregas's place in the Blues' midfield is under no dispute, while Matic's is also secure. But, in terms of backup for the Serb, why prioritise Mikel over Van Ginkel?

The Nigerian's best days at Stamford Bridge are surely behind him - and, even then, he didn't exactly light the stadium up with his ability.

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch