Super Eagles captain John Mikel Obi has been moved to the heart of defense in his new club, Tianjin TEDA.

Coach Jaime Pacheo played Mikel alongside Pan Xi Ming in central defense, and it helped as the team gained their first point of the Chinese Super League season in a goalless draw.

“Mikel is not a central defender, but he was willing to help the team,” Pacheo told

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“Before the game I had a personal conversation with him (Mikel) and he said he can play in the position, which was very good for us.

“He had a very good performance, his partnership with Pan Xi Ming in the center-back gave no chance to Jiangsu Suning.

“He showed with his quality on how well the role should be played especially how he communicated with his teammates.”

The club are currently 9th in the Chinese Super League, with one point from 2 games so far.