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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Mikel wants to end career in England, says O’Neill

Former Super Eagles team captain, John Mikel Obi, decided to pitch his tent with Stoke City, his third English club, to end his football career in England, his new boss, Michael O’Neill revealed yesterday. Mikel had previous spells at Chelsea and Middlesbrough.

Stoke City signed the 33-year-old Mikel Obi on Monday. He was a free agent having left Turkish side Trabzonspor by mutual consent in March.

According to Stoke boss, O’Neill, Mikel Obi had made it clear that he wants to get back into the Premier League and finish his career there.

“Hopefully, he can do that with Stoke City. I was really impressed with him when we met for the first time and he outlined what he wants from the next phase of his career. We spent four hours talking,” O’Neill stated.

Mikel made 249 Premier League appearances for Chelsea in an 11-year spell, which ended when he left Stamford Bridge in 2017.

He won the Champions League and Europa League, two Premier Leagues, three FA Cups and the League Cup during his time with the London club.

After leaving Chelsea he joined Chinese side Tianjin TEDA and had a brief spell at Middlesbrough in 2019.

Mikel won 89 caps for Nigeria, playing in two World Cups and helping the Super Eagles win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, before announcing his retirement from international football last summer.

Championship side Stoke won three of their last four games in 2019-20 to pull away from relegation trouble and finish 15th under former Northern Ireland boss O’Neill.


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