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Mikel Obi, four others are ‘top professionals’ – Michael O’Neill

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Stoke City manager, Michael O’Neill, has named Nigerian midfielder, John Mikel Obi, among five’ top professionals’ in his squad who can help the young players fulfil their potential.

The other top professionals are Joe, James Chester, Steven Fletcher, Danny Batth.

O’Neill said this during his pre-match press ahead of Stoke City’s Championship clash with Swansea on Wednesday night at the bet365 Stadium.

Asked if he’s tempted to use more youth players, O’Neill was quoted by StokeonTrentLive as saying: “What we do have is a really good level around them, and that helps.

“I look at John Obi, and Joe, James Chester and Steven Fletcher, Danny Batth, and they are all top professionals and top lads for young lads to be around.

“That has given us the confidence to introduce young players as we see it, and hopefully, they will be better for the experience.

“We are doing it on the basis that longer-term it hopefully makes for a stronger team that can challenge for promotion.”

Mikel, a former Chelsea star, is respected in the Stoke City dressing room.

The former Super Eagles captain has been handed Stoke City’s captain’s armband in more than 10 games so far this season despite joining O’Neill’s side less than seven months ago.

Mikel Obi, four others are ‘top professionals’ – Michael O’Neill

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