Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo returned to training today after receiving 20 stitches for a brutal elbow by Livingston’s Ricki Lamie in the Betfred Cup to earn comparisons with former Arsenal and Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.
The talented Nigerian international was snapped with the Ibrox side as they continue their preparations for the upcoming crunch Europa League tie with Young Boys of Switzerland.
But it wasn’t just the fact that Joe Aribo was back in training which caught the eye of the Rangers faithful – his protective headwear won’t be winning any fashion awards any time soon.
The Petr Cech-esque headwear is obviously a precaution to make sure the midfielder’s stitches don’t come out whilst he trains or heads the ball.
Steven Gerrard criticised the decision not to punish Ricki Lamie for the elbow on Aribo despite acknowledging that the Livingston defender didn’t mean to hurt the Nigerian.
The resultant injury meant Aribo had to be substituted in what was a competitive fixture at the Tony Macaroni which Rangers eventually won 1-0.
The gaping wound and resultant stitching also kept Aribo out Saturday’s 5-0 demolition against Aberdeen with Gerrard admitting he would be “very surprised” to see Aribo before the next international break [Rangers].
Let’s hope the head-knock doesn’t also keep Aribo out of Nigeria’s upcoming glamour friendly with Brazil in Singapore.