StoryOPINION: MIKEL ENDURING A CHALLENGING SEASON AT CHAMPIONSHIP CLUB STOKE

Former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel is not having the season he was expecting when he chose to sign for English championship club Stoke City last summer and has endured a mixed campaign so far. The Nigerian midfielder was signed by Stoke to add more flair and stealth to the midfield department but he has reportedly fallen short of the demands that were set by the club upon his decision to put pen to paper on a contract at the club.

StoryFrank Lampard delivers worrying injury update on Chelsea attacker

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has issued a worrying injury update on Christian Pulisic. The USA international sustained a hamstring injury during the warm-up before the Burnley game last weekend, but he was fancied to make his comeback against Sheffield United. However, Lampard has now revealed that the playmaker has yet to overcome his hamstring concern and he won’t feature in the Blues’ final game before the international break, he told via Chelseafc.com: "Not fit to play, still suffering with his hamstring. He's not training at the moment. He trained at a low level in midweek and wasn't comfortable. We have to keep looking for the right solution."


Pulisic suffered multiple muscular concerns during the previous campaign, but he still managed to register 11 goals and 10 assists from 34 appearances in all competitions. Due to a hamstring problem, his start to the current season was delayed and he has managed only five appearances for the Blues to date.

StorySTOKE CITY UNBEATEN LEAGUE RUN ENDED

Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel played the entire duration of the game as Stoke City suffered a rare league defeat in the English Championship, the second tier of club football in England. John Obi Mikel could not influence the outcome of the game as the Potters were beaten 1-0 at home by fellow Premier League promotion chasers Bournemouth. Bournemouth winger Junior Stanislas scored the only goal on 79 minutes to end a five-match unbeaten run for Stoke City in the league. Stoke City had won one and drawn four of their last five English Championship matches before the home clash with the Cherries at the weekend.


Their last defeat in the league was a 2-1 comeback loss to Welsh club Cardiff City at home in the second week of December.

StoryMIKEL OBI OUT OF DERBY GAME

Nigerian midfielder JohnObi Mikel has been ruled out of the league game with Derby County in the English Championship this weekend. Rejuvenated Derby County will welcome Stoke City to Pride Park on Saturday evening in a week 18 clash without John Obi Mikel who has a calf problem. The absence of John Obi Mikel for the trip to face the Rams was confirmed by Stoke City manager Michael O'Neill during his pre-match press conference for the game.


John Obi Mikel, 33, played the first 14 league games of the new season in the English Championship before picking up the calf injury during the Sheffield Wednesday clash on matchday 14. The retired Super Eagles of Nigeria player was subbed off on 76 minutes during the game which ended in a goalless draw for Stoke City away from home.

StoryMIKEL OBI MADE NO IMPACT IN STOKE'S DEFEAT

Mikel Obi, the former Nigeria international featured for Stoke City as Senegal forward, Islamaar Saar scored his second goal at Watford. Mikel was in the action while Sarr scored the match-winner as Watford got a 3-2 comeback victory against Stoke City in the Championship game on Wednesday.

StoryLille president confirms Victor Osimhen is close to Napoli transfer

Lille president Gerard Lopez has confirmed that Victor Osimhen is close to making the switch to the Serie A with Napoli. The Nigeria international had a good debut season with the French outfit where he managed 18 goals and six assists across all competitions and he is now set to pursue a fresh challenge in the Italian top-flight.

StoryMikel stunned by the growth of Mohamed Salah

John Obi Mikel is taken aback by the growth of Mohamed Salah who was his former player in Chelsea. They had spent a couple of years with each other in Chelsea when Salah was transferred from Basel on 2014.

StorySergino Dest’s agent dismisses Barcelona transfer talk

The agent of Sergino Dest has stressed that Barcelona have not reached a transfer agreement to sign the United States international from Ajax. The 19-year-old has enjoyed an impressive debut season with Ajax and his progress has caught the eye of elite European clubs including the Blaugrana and Bayern Munich.

StoryIan Wright pleased with Odion Ighalo’s impact at Manchester United

Arsenal legend Ian Wright has heaped praise on Odion Ighalo, who has made a quick impression following his loan move to Manchester United. The Nigeria international made the move to the Red Devils from Shanghai Shenhua during the dying stages of the January transfer window and there were definitely doubts whether he can live up to the expectations.

StoryMaddison says Leicester midfielder is the best defensive midfielder

Leicester City playmaker James Maddison has said that teammate Wilfried Ndidi is the best defensive midfielder in the Premier League this season. The Nigeria international has been in top form since the beginning of the campaign and he is currently the top tackler in the Premier League with 61 while he has also made the most recoveries in the process (37).


As such, he has been lauded by several fans and pundits and Maddison has no doubts regarding his teammates’ abilities on the playing field, he told Football Daily: “I think he’s the best in the Premier League at tackling and winning the ball back, bar none. I know [N’Golo] Kante is a brilliant player and there are players like that. But actually winning the ball back and taking the ball off the opposition, I don’t think there is anyone better than Wilfred. Sometimes you get a player like that and what he does doesn’t get on the back page of the papers, doesn’t get talked about on Match of the Day.”

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