Tianjin Teda narrowly escaped relegation from the Chinese Super League after their 2-0 result against Beijing Guoan at Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium yesterday confirmed their safety.
The Tianjin Tigers had looked destined for the drop at the beginning of June no thanks to their shambolic run of form.
The Super Eagles captain who had been out with an injury since those misfortune times had stepped up to inspire his side to a run of four consecutive wins which helped steer the club clear of relegation waters with two games to spare, netting once and playing a crucial role in eleven games.
The 30-year-old was in action for the entire duration of the game for his side as Senegal striker, Mbaye Diagne struck twice to put The Imperial Guards to the sword in their latest match.
With just two games to the end of the season, Tianjin Teda is 13th on the 16-team table with 28 points accumulated, nine more than Yabian, who occupy the second and final relegation spot.
Mikel was on the books of Chelsea for more than ten years before joining Tianjin Teda on a three-year deal in the January transfer window.