Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill has revealed John Obi Mikel has made the club stronger with his performances.
The 33-year-old teamed up with the Potters in the summer after leaving Turkish Super Lig side Trabzonspor by mutual agreement.
The midfielder has continued to make his experience count for the Bet365 Stadium outfit in the 11 games he has played for the club so far.
Mikel has helped the club keep five clean sheets since his arrival to the club to their current eighth spot on the Championship table.
O’Neill is delighted with the solid defensive performances from his club and lauded the impact of the former Super Eagles captain.
“Our number of clean sheets has been impressive,” O’Neill said in a pre-match press conference.
“I think even going back to the start of this calendar year, I think we rank among the best in the division in terms of clean sheets. It’s important how we defend as a team, not just a back four.
“John Obi Mikel has made us stronger in that area as well, we’re stronger in midfield and we’ve been stronger as a unit in how we defend from the front.”