By Larry Porter
Middlesbrough have bolstered their promotion credentials with the signing of Champions League winner John Obi Mikel.
The 31-year-old Nigerian arrives at the Riverside on a free having been without a club since his departure from Chinese Super League outfit Tianjin TEDA in November.
With two Premier League titles, a Champions League winners medal, three FA Cups and 85 international caps for Nigeria – including two World Cup appearances – under his belt, Mikel adds a wealth of experience to fifth-placed Boro.
And manager Tony Pulis was delighted with the acquisition of Mikel and the mentality he’ll bring to Teesside.
“I’m pleased to get him in. He is a man with a lot of experience and quality,” Pulis told the official website.
“He has a winning mentality and he wants to be here to be a part of what we are looking to achieve.”
Boro pipped several other English clubs, as well as VfL Wolfsburg and Roma, to Mikel’s signature as Pulis added to the loan signing of Huddersfield’s Rajiv van la Parra earlier this month.
The Nigerian will wear the number two shirt and could make his debut against Newport County in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.