The Sunday Mail’s chief football writer Scott McDermott appeared on the latest edition of the Record Rangers podcast, during which he spent some time talking about Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo.
You could certainly argue that Aribo has been enjoying a positive 2020/21 campaign so far with the Glasgow club. He has currently got the joint-fifth-highest overall WhoScored rating (7.34) of any Gers player for the 2020/21 league season, scoring four Premiership goals so far this term.
On this podcast, however, McDermott shared that he still thinks the £900k-rated man, who joined Rangers from Charlton Athletic on a free transfer in the summer of 2019, can take his game up “another couple of levels,” with the journalist sharing that he believes Gers manager Steven Gerrard shares that view.
He said: “He does frustrate me at times, only because you know how good a player there is in there and you know the attributes that he’s got.
“In terms of doing that ‘number 8’ role, he’s got everything. He’s rangy, he can go past people, he shields the ball brilliantly, he looks after the ball probably better than anybody in the league in terms of holding people off, I think he’s got the ability to kind of stride forward and travel with the ball and get Rangers up the pitch and break lines – something I don’t think he does enough – and I would hope that’s part of his game that will develop.
“I think there’s no debate, he is better in that midfield three, breaking forward, but I think Gerrard will just want a wee bit more. I think he’ll be pleased with how he’s developed since he arrived at Rangers, but there’s definitely more to come with Joe Aribo, there’s great potential there and I think there’s still another couple of levels his game can go to.”
Do you expect more from Aribo?
YES, HE WILL IMPROVE
NO, HE'S PEAKED
TIF Thoughts on what McDermott had to say about Aribo…
You could say that McDermott is somewhat harsh in saying that Aribo frustrates him when you consider that the Nigeria international has arguably been one of the Gers best performers this term, completing the second-highest number of dribbles (1.6) and the fourth-highest number of key passes (1.5) per league game of any Rangers player, per WhoScored.
However, perhaps his claim that Gerrard expects more from the midfielder is a testament to the potential he believes Aribo has, and that could certainly be seen as encouraging for the 24-year-old.
So, with just over two years remaining on his Ibrox deal, it will be interesting if McDermott is right in saying that Aribo has still got more to offer the Gers as his Rangers career progresses.