Why John Obi Mikel is important to our squad – Stoke City’s coach, Michael O’Neill

Michael O’Neill said one can be skeptical about bringing players from abroad to the team but  former Super Eagles captain, John Obi Mikel is an exception with regards to his wealth of experience in England.

He also lauded lauded his level of fitness in training having not played since March after he terminated his contract with Turkish side, Trabzonspor.

Michael O’Neill said;

You’re always wary taking a player from abroad but with John it wasn’t like that because he’d been in the UK for so long. There was no worries about that scenario.

What John has demonstrated – and his fitness levels are improving all the time, having not played since March – is that every day in training is a top quality player who can handle the ball and is able to tactically understand the game and help the players around him tactically. He’s been great since he came in.

Mikel Obi featured in the club’s pre-season friendly matches against Leeds, Newcastle and Shrewsbury Town and he’s likely to play when The Potters begin their Championship campaign away against Millwall on Saturday.


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