Sky Sports pundit Kevin Thomson has sung the praises of the ever-present Joe Aribo for his role in the Rangers team this season.
After Luis Diaz’s impressive cameo for Liverpool last night Aribo has moved to second for matches played for club and country this season all over the world with a whopping 63 appearances for Rangers and Nigeria.
Only club stalwart Connor Goldson and captain James Tavernier have played more minutes than Aribo for the Ibrox club in the Scottish Premiership this season.
With strikers Kemar Roofe and Alfredo Morelos suffering from injury, the recognised midfielder stepped up to the lead the line at the front of the pitch, Thomson believes he stepped up at the front end of the pitch in the Gers’ narrow 1-0 defeat to RB Leipzig in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final.
Speaking to The Scottish Sun, the former Scotland and Rangers midfielder hailed the super-fit Nigerian for his displays this season despite so many matches:
“With Alfredo Morelos and Roofe out injured, Joe provided that physicality up front against Leipzig.
“His performance in the second half was brilliant under the circumstances.
“There is every chance he’ll be asked to perform that role again. The manager has faith in him to do that job and I’m sure he will come up with the goods.
“The phenomenal number of games he has played so far highlights just how important he is to Rangers and Nigeria.
“He is now one of the first names on the team-sheet for both of them.
“Joe has played in so many different positions for Rangers over the past few seasons. He is the type of player who can play anywhere across the middle and in any of the front three positions.
“He also played left-back in a game under Steven Gerrard last season, so that just shows his versatility.
TIF Thoughts on Aribo…
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The 25-year-old who earns £14k-per-week has had to work for every penny this season.
53 of his 144 appearances in Glasgow have come this term during his third campaign with the club and despite the extreme volume of games he has been readily available throughout the season for Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
Aribo’s eight goals this season have all come in the domestic league but he has provided three assists in Europe and could be a useful alternative for the Dutch coach come Thursday night.
It remains to be seen where he will operate due to his versatility but one thing for certain is that Aribo will be part of the starting-11.