After the disappointment of Joe Aribo’s performance against Celtic last week, to see the Rangers midfielder shine for Nigeria has been a breath of fresh air.
We’ve been singing the player’s praises but in the biggest match of our season he struggled to make an impression. Then again, so did the rest of the side.
But as we dust ourselves down – and Aribo did so in style by scoring for Nigeria on his debut – how much can this exposure add value to the player on and off the pitch?
Joe Aribo’s debut goal for Nigeria against Ukraine tonight. pic.twitter.com/4xgeDL8WWr
— Rangers Bible (@RangersBible_) September 10, 2019
The opportunity to play at a higher level, be it internationally with Nigeria or in Europe with Rangers, is bound to help the 23-year-old develop.
So far at Ibrox we’ve seen glimpses – more than a few in fairness – of why Steven Gerrard was so excited to sign Aribo.
“He can go as far as he wants,” said Gerrard, as quoted by Soccernet Nigeria.
“I hope he stays alongside me for many years, but he’s got the world at his feet.”
With ambitions to move to Liverpool at some point in his career – potentially 2022 – is this a hint that Stevie G rates Aribo so highly that he’d take the Nigerian with him?
Aribo is in a vital period of his career and so far, he is beginning to develop and evolve into a player with more responsibility.
If Aribo can stand out at Ibrox, particularly in Europe, and for Nigeria, whose fans have already been waxing lyrical about the midfielder, then the player’s stock rises handsomely.
If he keeps it up, Rangers don’t just have an on-pitch asset which can fire them to glory.
They’ve got a player who could potentially bring in millions in the coming seasons.
No wonder Charlton boss Lee Bowyer was so angry Rangers snapped him up for next to nothing [Daily Record] in the summer.