Mikel Obi Terminates Stoke City Contract, Joins Al Kuwait SC
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Former Chelsea star, John Mikel Obi has left Stoke City to join Al Kuwait SC despite extending his deal with the Championship side just earlier this month.
Stoke chose to activate their option to hand the former Chelsea star an extension to his contract at the start of this month after the midfielder impressed in 2020-21.
But the 34-year-old has now linked up with the Kuwaiti Premier League side – who finished third in the division last season behind Al-Qadsia and champions Al-Arabi – on a one-year deal.
The former Nigeria international only joined Michael O’Neill’s team in August last year and made 41 appearances for them across all competitions as they finished 14th in the Championship table.
O’Neill had previously lauded Obi Mikel for his ‘brilliant’ displays and the postivitity he was bringing to the club off the pitch.
‘I’ve just said to him in the dressing room that I hope we can get that player on loan from Chelsea again next season,’ O’Neill said.
‘You can see with performances like that why he was at Chelsea for such a length of time in his career. He’s been a top player who has won everything in the game.
‘He’s been a brilliant signing. When we’re compact as a team we get the best of John. He’s very positive around the club, a lot of help for the young players and I’m delighted to have him.’
His move to the bet365 Stadium came about after terminating his contract with Turkish outfit Trabzonspor after expressing concerns that the Super Lig was continuing amid the coronavirus pandemic.
But Obi Mikel is now set to go on another footballing adventure in Asia, having also previously spent two years with Tianjin Teda in the Chinese Super League.
A move to Middlesbrough preceded a transfer to Trabzonspor, with Obi Mikel mkaing 19 appearances and scoring once at the Riverside Stadium.
But the Nigerian however is best known for spending 11 years and making 372 appearances across all competitions for Chelsea.
During his time in west London, Obi Mikel won no fewer than nine trophies at Stamford Bridge, including two Premier League titles, three FA Cups, and one Champions League and Europa League crown.
Obi Mikel also made 91 appearances for his country between 2005 and his international retirement two years ago, scoring six goals in the process.
He was part of their squad that won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and three bronze medals at the same tournament in 2006, 2010 and 2019.
He was also part of the team that won the 2016 Olympic bronze medal in Rio after beating Honduras in Belo Horizonte.