FORMER Super Eagles skipper Mikel Obi is to undergo a medical tomorrow at English Championship side Stoke City after agreeing a one year contract with the club desperately seeking a return to the Premier League.
Stoke City were relegated from the English Premier League at the end of the 2017/81 season and since then have struggled in their bid to gain promotion again. During the last season, the club flirted with relegation but in November appointed former Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill as their head coach and he has since managed to turn their fortunes around.
Ending the 2019/20 on a high, Stoke are now eyeing promotion and Mr O’Neill has already made three major signings as part of an ambitious plan to return to the Premier League. Mikel becomes Stoke’s fourth signing in recent weeks, joining leftback Morgan Fox, centreback James Chester and striker Steven Fletcher who have all just put pen to paper for the Potters.
Mikel, 33, joins on a free transfer having left Turkish side Trabzonspor by mutual consent in March over disagreements on how to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Very familiar with the English game, Mikel spent 11 years at Chelsea between 2006 and 2017 where he made 249 Premier League appearances, winning the Uefa Champions League, Europa Cup, two Premier League titles, three FA cups and the League Cup with the London side.
After leaving Stamford Bridge, Mikel joined Chinese side Tianjin Teda and then had a brief spell at Middlesbrough in 2019. He then left Boro after they failed to win promotion to the Premier League, joining Trabzonspor in Turkey.
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. Over recent weeks, several clubs have been looking at Mikel, including newly-promoted West Bromwich Albion.