The Chelsea holding midfielder rolled back the years when he was given a free attacking role in midfield by coach Samson Siasia as Nigeria won a bronze medal at last month’s Rio Olympics.
The Eagles skipper will score a goal and prompt several attacking forays at Rio 2016.
Rohr had initially planned for Mikel to play as a defensive midfielder, but the player would rather be given freedom upfront, just as he did when he was named behind Lionel Messi in the race for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
“Mikel will play in an attacking position under the new coach, not the holding midfield role he plays for his club,” an official, who watched the team’s training behind closed doors on Thursday.
In the meantime, the Eagles skipper has said today’s match against Tanzania will be a fresh start as the country’s team aim to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
“This is a new team and a new direction as we want to make sure we qualify for the World Cup,” he said.