Mikel Obi is in line to make his competitive debut for Stoke City when the Potters take on Blackpool in a Carabao Cup first-round tie at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday (today).
Mikel, who recently joined the Sky Bet Championship club on a free transfer, scored in Stoke’s friendly win against Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday.
The former Chelsea player started the game and was replaced at half-time by Tom Ince, who was also on target at the Clayton Wood.
“If you look at John (Obi Mikel) for example, he’s not played since March because he terminated his contract at Trabzonspor,” Stoke City manager Michael O’Neil told a news conference.
“John has settled in really well, trained really hard and we’ve just got to build up his fitness and his minutes.”
He has also been handed the No.13 jersey at the club previously worn by another Nigerian Victor Moses during the 2014/15 season.
While allocating the squad number the club wrote on its website wrote, “Stoke City’s summer signings have been allocated their squad numbers for the 2020/21 campaign.
“The Potters have brought in Morgan Fox, James Chester, Steven Fletcher, and Mikel on permanent deals so far in the summer window.
“Fox and Fletcher, both arrivals from Sheffield Wednesday, have been allocated numbers 3 and 21 respectively.
“Chester retains the number 12 he donned during the second half of last season during his loan spell from Aston Villa.
“Meanwhile, Mikel will wear the number 13 for the new season after joining the Potters 11 days ago.”