Nigerian veteran Mikel Obi scores on Stoke debut

Former Chelsea and Trabzonspor player, John Obi Mikel, scored on his debut for English Championship side, Stoke City.

News Central reports that Mikel, who joined manager Michael O’Neil’s side last week as a free agent, got on the score sheet as the Potters overpowered Shrewsbury Town 5-1 in a friendly match that was played behind closed doors on Tuesday.

“John’s been great in his first few days. You can see his quality, there’s no doubt, and people in the group see his quality,” the manager said.

“He has to get up to speed. He worked very hard on Saturday morning (when we had a game in the afternoon), as did Steven Fletcher and Ryan Shawcross.

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“I think when you bring a player of that quality in it’s going to improve you and that’s what we’re always looking to do, looking to improve the squad, improve the quality in the squad and John does that,” he told Stoke Sentinel.

O’Neil hopes, Mikel who arrived at Stoke last week as free agent with 540 appearances for both club and country will help propel the Potters back to the Premier League next season.

Stoke finished the 2019-20 Championship season in 15th place, eight points clear of the relegation zone.

Mikel, 33, retired from international duty in July 2019 after he led Nigeria to bronze at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

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While at Chelsea for over a decade, the former Nigeria international helped the Blues win the Premier League, Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup, League Cup and Charity Shield.

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