Once Rangers-linked Gabon striker Aaron Boupendza scored a stunning winner as his country got their Africa Cup of Nations campaign underway with a 1-0 victory over Comoros.
The 25-year-old Al-Arabi striker lashed the ball high into the far corner from a narrow angle to gift his team a valuable three points in their Group C opener.
The nation’s campaign suffered an early hiccup after Covid-19 problems surrounding key players Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mario Lemina after being videoed partying in Dubai [Daily Mail].
But Aaron Boupendza has stepped up big for his country in the game with the other match in the group between Ghana and Morocco being won by the Atlas Lions by the same scoreline after a late Sofiane Boufal winner.
Rangers-linked Gabon star Aaron Boupendza swapped Turkey for Saudi Arabia
Rangers were linked with a move for Aaron Boupendza in March 2021 during the striker’s time in Turkey with Hatayspor [90min].
Scoring 22 goals in the Turkish Super Lig last season, the Gers were linked alongside Premier League clubs like Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Southampton and Leicester.
Aaron Boupendza was even valued at £8.5m, something which had plenty of Rangers fans doubting the legitimacy of the links unless Alfredo Morelos was to be sold.
Old Firm rivals were another side who were mentioned with some reports even suggesting the Parkhead side and Serie A club Atalanta had made a bid for the striker.
But for whatever reason the forward moved on to Saudi Arabian side Al-Arabi in a surprise deal announced ahead of this season, where the striker has four goals and two assists in 12 games.
Whilst the fee remains officially undisclosed, this may well have been a landmark deal in Saudi with Fanatik claiming Hatayspor were demanding £7m for the services of the striker.
Rangers certainly didn’t plunge for Aaron Boupendza and whilst fans might think what might have been, they can think what is with one leading star set to take the AFCON stage.