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Mikel splendid display: Stoke City boss jokes he wants ‘that Chelsea player on loan’ next season

John Obi Mikel

John Obi Mikel was instrumental as Stoke City ended the season with a 2-0 win at Bournemouth

John Obi Mikel was so impressive in Stoke City’s win at Bournemouth that Michael O’Neill had flashbacks to the midfielder’s days with Chelsea.

Mikel had a strong performance and two moments of exceptional quality; a first half through ball to Rabbi Matondo and a moment of second half tight control that led to Tommy Smith’s goal.

“Brilliant,” said O’Neill. “I thought he was brilliant. The (control and the) pass he plays for Rabbi Matondo in the first half too.

“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. Today I thought he looked every bit.

“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.”

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Ihesiulo Grace

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