New arrival at Middlesbrough of England, John Mikel Obi has made a huge promise to help the club return to the English Premier League, following his formal unveiling by the team.
Mikel was all smiles and radiating hope, as the English Championship formally welcomed the former Chelsea and Tianjin Teda midfielder in a short-term deal.
The 31-year-old finalised his move to Riverside Stadium after leaving Teda in the Chinese Super League at the end of the season in November.
Mikel, who captained NIgeria at last year’s World Cup, had also been linked with moves to Ligue 1 and German Bundesliga, as well as Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr, before agreeing to sign for Boro.
The midfielder spent 11 years in England with Chelsea, winning two Premier League titles, three FA Cups, the EFL Cup, the Europa League and the Champions League.
Tony Pulis’ side sit fifth in the Championship table after 28 matches, seven points behind leaders Leeds United.
Ahead of his debut, Pulis spoke in glowing terms about Mikel, who joins Boro on a free transfer in a short-term deal, after a successful medical.
The club stated: “We’re delighted to announced the signing of John Obi Mikel ✍️Welcome to #Boro, @mikel_john_obi!”
Mikel will now don jersey number 12 for the remaining part of the season at the former English Premier League club that previously had fellow-Nigerian stars, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Bartholomew Ogbeche, Sammy Ameobi, Carl Onuoha Ikeme and Kenneth Omeruo inn their past squads.
Mikel said: “The club wants to get promoted so hopefully I’m here to help in any way I can.
“It’s a family club and this is what I want. I like stability and this is why I was at Chelsea for a very long time
“I spoke to a few clubs and I also spoke to Tony [Pulis], had a good chat with him. He’s told me where he wants to go with it and it definitely fits with what I want to do.”