Journalist Alex Crook has claimed that Joe Aribo being linked with a move to Aston Villa does not surprise him at all.
There have been recent reports stating that Aston Villa are one of the Premier League sides that are interested in signing Aribo from Rangers this summer. The sought-after winger has just 12 months remaining on his current contract with the Gers.
Aribo is a versatile midfielder who can play both on the wing and in the centre of the park, and this season for Rangers he featured 57 times in all competitions, whilst netting nine times and chipping in with 10 assists.
With Villa being one of the clubs who have shown interest in Aribo, Crook told GiveMeSport that he is someone who Steven Gerrard could improve if he did sign at Villa Park.
“I was told when I was out in Seville for the Europa League Final that Joe Aribo was a target for Aston Villa, so that doesn’t surprise me at all. I think he’s the type of young player that Steven Gerrard thinks he can mould and improve,” Crook said.
Would you be happy with Aribo at Villa?
TIF Thoughts on Crook’s comments…
Nottingham Forest are reportedly preparing to make a big offer for Aribo, but with Gerrard working previously with Aribo during his time as Rangers boss, this could give Villa a boost in the race to sign him, so similar to the signing of Philippe Coutinho, the former Gers boss might be able to use his connections to lure players to the club.
Villa have already made four signings this summer, so it is clear that Gerrard is not happy with the current squad and feels that there is room for improvement. The fact that Villa are linked with a move for Aribo indicates how highly the English boss rates him from their time together at Rangers, so it will be interesting to see if they reunite at Villa Park this summer.
And it is apparent Gerrard was impressed with Aribo during their time together as he told BT Sport the following after a Rangers victory:
“What I’ve said to Joe, is you’re a better player when you play angry. You’re 6ft 3in, flex your muscles, you’re a big strong lad. Leave it on a few.
“When he does that, he’s a joy to watch. I thought his first 45 minutes was outstanding. If he can do that regularly, we’ll be lucky to keep him.”