Rangers striker Kemar Roofe faces a race against time to get fit for the Europa League Final, but if he doesn’t make it then all eyes will be on Joe Aribo.
The Nigerian international is traditionally a midfielder but he has an immense ability to hold the ball up and is deceptively good in the air.
This makes Aribo the perfect target man in the absence of any natural centre forwards and if Roofe – or Morelos – don’t make the match he will likely lead the line.
Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst employed Joe Aribo as the main forward in the Europa League semi-final double header against RB Leipzig.
Joe Aribo showed what he can do in this role by trapping the ball further up the field and getting Rangers up the pitch whilst his link-up play brings those around him into the game.
Rangers could call on Joe Aribo in the absence of Kemar Roofe
There is probably no-one more technically adept in the squad and being 6ft2 Aribo offers an outball for the club who can win headers and compete physically.
It was a genuinely understated masterstroke from van Bronckhorst to bring Joe Aribo into the role but being an unorthodox forward the move does come with limitations.
As evidenced by that swipe at the ball with Rangers 2-0 up against RB Leipzig, Joe Aribo missed a golden chance to make it three but the effort didn’t prove too costly.
Aribo is not an out-and-out striker and as a result is not a natural finisher but with the club’s two first choice forwards potentially out of the tie he represents a pragmatic option.
That said, plenty will be hoping that Kemar Roofe can make the match but Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst didn’t exactly inspire confidence that this would be the case as he gave an injury update ahead of the Europa League Final.
“Roofe is going to be a close call for the final,” explains van Bronckhorst [Rangers].
“We have to assess him day by day. Jack is ahead of him, he will be ready for next week and Kemar I still don’t know.”