Dimeji Lawal  says  he is amazed by some of the criticism Nigeria captain  Mikel Obi  has faced as Chelsea manager Antonio Conte continues to overlook him.

Mikel, who  is Chelsea’s second longest serving player after  John Terry,  has not featured for the Premier League giants since the beginning of the season.

The 29-year-old midfielder guided the national Under-23 team to a memorable bronze at the Rio Olympic Games in August 20   – and returned  the following month to lead the Super Eagles to a 1-0 victory over Tanzania in a Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations  qualifier in Uyo.

Mikel starred in the Eagles’ 2-1 defeat of Zambia’s Chipolopolo in their opening Russia 2018 World Cup Group B qualifier at   Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola on October 9.