Rangers star Joe Aribo is preparing to take centre stage for Nigeria as the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) kicks off in Cameroon.
Whilst Nigeria won’t play until Tuesday (11th January) when they kick off their campaign against Egypt, super Joe is being tipped by plenty to be amongst the stars of the tournament.
Kicking off with a match between hosts Cameroon and Burkina Faso, before Ethiopia face Cape Verde Islands, the tournament will be broadcast by Sky Sports and will involve some of the biggest names in African football.
Rangers star Joe Aribo, 25, is currently in the form of his life and the skilful midfielder has emerged as a key player for the Gers this season.
Now a match-winner who looks to impose himself on games and take responsibility for the side, his development at Rangers has helped lead Aribo to this point with Nigeria.
The tournament is a huge opportunity to showcase his talents with the ex-Charlton man expected to play a key role for the Super Eagles.
Rangers star Joe Aribo to take centre stage with Nigeria at AFCON
Joe Aribo will also be the only player in the Nigeria squad – or at the tournament – who is representing Rangers with Leon Balogun and Calvin Bassey not making the final squad.
The midfielder’s burgeoning popularity was summed up in his recent inclusion in a fans’ African Team of the Year and should Joe impress in Cameroon we suspect his stock will continue to rise.
With 18 months left on his current contract, that’s a worrying notion for some Rangers fans who will be aware that if Aribo doesn’t sign on a new deal, the club will need to sell in the coming windows.
Aribo isn’t without interest either as Southampton reportedly linger, reports made even more ominous following a recent £100m takeover.
But with the games kicking off this week, Joe Aribo is set to be amongst the star performers for Nigeria and as things stand he’ll be doing so as Rangers player.
What an opportunity for Joe Aribo to go and showcase his talents on the international stage and there won’t be a bluenose around who isn’t backing him to do exactly that.
Nigeria have been drawn in Group D of the tournament and will face off against Egypt, Guinea-Bissau and Sudan over the course of the next 10 or so days.
Meanwhile, Rangers are reportedly heading the queue to make another signing this window with the player putting a January demand on the Ibrox club.