Rangers have been handed a monumental Old Firm Celtic boost as Joe Aribo and Nigeria are sent crashing from the Africa Cup of Nations by Tunisia.
There were high hopes for Gers midfielder Aribo, 25, and his international teammates at the tournament but the Super Eagles have once again fell short – much to the anger of their supporters.
A passionate football nation, Nigeria were sent packing from the tournament courtesy of a 1-0 defeat to Tunisia as the country once again underachieves on the international stage.
Youssef Msakni gave Tunisia the lead only two minutes after the restart after his long range effort evaded Nigeria keeper Maduka Okoye.
Things would go from bad to worse 20 minutes later when £34m Everton attacker Alex Iwobi saw red for a challenge on the goalscorer just minutes after coming on to the park.
The referee had originally handed ex-Arsenal star Iwobi a yellow card for the incident but it was upgraded to a red via VAR.
Known to be close to Joe Aribo and Rangers star Glen Kamara from their time at Arsenal, both Gers players will be feeling it for Iwobi who clearly didn’t mean to leave anything on Msakni.
Rangers handed Joe Aribo boost as Nigeria crash out of AFCON at hands of Tunisia
Whilst Nigeria are licking their wounds and counting the cost of their Africa Cup of Nations failure, Rangers will be quietly delighted that Joe Aribo will be returning to the Ibrox camp.
Rangers are little over a week away from the crunch Scottish Premiership Old Firm visit to Celtic Park and Joe Aribo has probably been the Gers’ best player this season.
We spoke beforehand about an emotional dilemma for Rangers fans eager to see Joe steal the stage at the major tournament.
But when you consider what could be riding on that game at Parkhead – and the entire season as a result – Rangers fans will count their blessings and thank Tunisia.
Meanwhile, a leading Rangers defensive target has hinted against a potential January Ibrox move.