Rangers star Joe Aribo has been given the iconic no.10 shirt for Nigeria’s AFCON campaign [CAF].
Aribo is currently the only Rangers player set to be involved in the tournament after fellow Super Eagles regular Leon Balogun was ruled out through injury and Calvin Bassey missed out on selection.
It seems that interim manager Augustine Eguavoen is expecting the 25-year-old to play a prominent role, though, as Nigeria search for a fourth AFCON title.
That’s because he’s handed the Gers maestro a shirt often reserved for the Super Eagles’ best player [Allnigeriasoccer.com].
Previous wearers of the no.10 jersey at tournaments include Jon Obi Mikel and Jay-Jay Okocha, both of whom starred in the Premier League and won over 70 international caps.
Therefore, it’s a big showing of faith from Eguavoen to hand a still relatively inexperienced player – at least at international level – such a high-profile number.
Joining Aribo in the squad is a familiar name in Umar Sadiq.
The 24-year-old former Ibrox loanee has been excellent for Almeria since joining them from Partizan Belgrade in October 2020, with his 31 goals and 14 assists in 64 appearances earning him a maiden senior international call-up.
The Super Eagles have been drawn in Group D and their campaign gets underway on Tuesday with a clash against Egypt.
They will then face Sudan on Saturday 15th and Guinea-Bissau on Wednesday 19th.
Rangers fans will be wishing Aribo well ahead of the tournament but will perhaps be hoping Nigeria don’t go all the way, as that would see the attacking midfielder ruled out of up to six Gers matches.
In other AFCON-related news, Rangers could be affected as a nation are reportedly facing expulsion ahead of the tournament.