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Mikel: Former Chelsea midfielder leaves Stoke City for Al Kuwait SC

The former captain of Nigeria has agreed to leave Europe for another football adventure in Asia

Kuwait Premier League club Al Kuwait SC has announced the signing of John Obi Mikel from the Stoke City Championship squad.

The Brigadiers said the former Chelsea and Trabzonspor star has signed a one-year contract that will keep him at the club for the 2021-22 season.

Mikel’s signing is a boost for Al Kuwait, who finished third in the Premier League behind Al-Qadsia and Al-Arabi leaders last season.

He will not be the only African star in the Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium, as he joins Morocco’s El-Mehdi Barrahma, Tunisian duo Ahmed Akaichi and Rami Bedoui, and Mali’s Abdulwahid Sissoko in the Brigadiers series.

Meanwhile, it Stoke City recently activated the option to extend the contract to retain the former Super Eagles captain following his impressive performances in the English second division this past quarter.

The 34-year-old was one of the most striking players on Michael O’Neill’s team in the 2020-21 season with 39 league appearances under his belt when they finished 14th in the table.

Mikel returned to England last August after terminating his contract with Turkish Super League club Trabzonspor for fear of the coronavirus.

The legend of Nigeria is not new in Asian football as he spent two years with Tianjin Teda in the Chinese Super League.

Prior to his stay in China, the Caf Most Promising Talent spent most of his career at Chelsea in 2005.

During his 11-year stay at Stamford Bridge, Mikel has won several honors, including the Uefa Champions League, Uefa Europa League, Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup.

He was also named the club’s young player of the year twice (2007 and 2008), making 249 appearances in the Premier League to make his name.

The 34-year-old has reiterated his leadership and training roles for Nigeria several times before his retirement in 2019.

He was part of the African tournament in 2013 and he also helped the country win bronze at the 2006, 2010 and 2019 editions.

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