John Mikel Obi Completes Stoke City Move

John Mikel Obi completed a move to Stoke City on a one-year deal.

The former Nigeria captain, 33, has been without a club having left Turkish side Trabzonspor over a disagreement about the league’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic in March.

The move marks a return to the English Championship for Mikel who had a short spell with Middlesbrough in 2019.

The midfielder enjoyed a successful 11-year spell at Chelsea where he made 249 Premier League and won the Champions League, Europa League, two Premier Leagues, three FA Cups and the League Cup during his time with the London club.

He left Stanford Bridge in 2017 to join Chinese side Tianjin TEDA prior to his first spell in the Championship with Middlesbrough in 2019.

Stoke boss Michael O’Neill said: “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 and he made it clear he wants to get back into the Premier League and finish his career there and hopefully he can do that with Stoke City.”

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 after leading the country to a third place finish at the 2019 AFCON.

Stoke who finished 15th last season also have another Nigerian Oghenekaro Etebo in their fold but the midfielder who spent half of last season on loan at LaLiga side Getafe is thought to be surplus to requirements.