Southampton boss Nathan Jones has warned about players not pulling their weight at St Mary’s as he drops Joe Aribo – and Rangers will be hoping it serves as a warning to Ryan Kent.
Nigerian international Aribo left Ibrox for the English south coast in the summer in a reported £10m deal but the Premier League side have toiled this season.
Now rooted to the bottom of the Premier League and having sacked Ralph Hasenhuttl to replace him with Nathan Jones, the pressure is on to retain the side’s status in the English top flight.
Joe Aribo has been a casualty of that campaign, with the ex-Charlton star dropped completely from Southampton’s 1-0 League Cup semi-final defeat to Newcastle.
This comes with the 26-year-old being benched for the club’s last two Premier League matches with Jones claiming Aribo has been a “victim” of squad depth, with James Ward Prowse preferred in his position.
The Welsh manager was then out slamming “passengers” in his Southampton squad amid the January transfer window.
“What we can’t do is literally just hold a load of players and keep them,” said Jones.
“Because then you have passengers and passengers become problematic in the end. So you can’t do that. We want a small tight squad but we need certain things in the squad.”
Joe Aribo Southampton situation a warning to Rangers’ Ryan Kent
Rangers fans will be hoping that the situation with Joe Aribo at Southampton serves as a warning to Ryan Kent, who is reportedly interesting clubs in the Premier League such as Leicester City.
Having scored Rangers’ goal in the Europa League Final last season, it is a fall from grace for the midfielder and shows that the grass isn’t always greener outside of Ibrox.
Whilst the Premier League is a more competitive landscape domestically, Rangers offer a huge platform to showcase your skills and perhaps looking at Joe Aribo, Ryan Kent might be convinced that it’s the place to continue his career for now.
The winger is out-of-contract at the end of the season and in the midst of resurgent form at Ibrox under Michael Beale.
Meanwhile, Nicolas Raskin could hook up with a former Ibrox star on Belgium duty.