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Sports News of Saturday, 21 November 2020

Source: Legit

John Obi Mikel has made us stronger - Stoke City boss O'Neil praises midfielder

File photo: John Obi Mikel File photo: John Obi Mikel

Nigerian star John Obi Mikel appears to have sealed his place in the Stoke City team a few months after joining them.

Despite creating just one assist in 11 appearances for The Potters since he joined then in the summer, Michael O'Neill believes his presence in the team has made them stronger.

So far, the club has kept five clean sheets that the 33-year-old featured in and that has been attributed to the inclusion of the former Super Eagles captain in the team.

The 51-year-old manager, however, said during a pre-match conference: “Our number of clean sheets has been impressive.“I think even going back to the start of this calendar year, I think we rank among the best in the division in terms of clean sheets. It’s important how we defend as a team, not just a back four.

“John Obi Mikel has made us stronger in that area as well, we’re stronger in midfield and we’ve been stronger as a unit in how we defend from the front."

It would be recalled that Mikel Obi joined Stoke on a one-year deal as a free agent in the summer having parted ways with former club Trabzonspor on mutual consent.

And one of his aims is to help them gain promotion to the Premier League - a statement quoted to the player by Goal.

Mikel spent most part of his career at Chelsea where he won a Champions League, two Premier Leagues and other domestic titles.

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