Outspoken Charlton manager Lee Bowyer has appeared to backtrack on comments he made after Nigerian midfielder Joe Aribo left the Valley to join Rangers.

The talented midfielder joined Rangers last season for a reduced cross-border development fee after his contract with Charlton had expired amid reported interest from the likes of Brentford.

Rangers v Livingston - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Joe Aribo made a goalscoring return to the Rangers starting XI in the 2-0 win over Livingston at the weekend. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

At the time, a fuming Lee Bowyer suggested Aribo was making a mistake moving to Ibrox and urged the player to stay in England as it was better for his development [South London Press].

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But speaking to talkSPORT, former Premier League midfielder Bowyer has praised the impact the 24-year-old has made north of the border and sheepishly backtracked on his previous claims.

“It was never that straightforward,” said Bowyer.

“I wasn’t trying to say, oh like… it wasn’t a defined England/Scotland [thing]. It wasn’t that. I was just thinking of the boy’s career.


“But, he’s gone to Rangers and he’s doing well. I never doubted for one second that he wouldn’t do well, because he’s an exceptional player and working under Steven Gerrard, who would only make him better. So it wasn’t that.


“But I just thought for him as a development thing I thought Brentford would have been good for him.

“But I’m pleased for Joe and I’m pleased for Rangers that things are going well and hopefully they can keep moving forward together.”

Bowyer was goaded by Rangers fans in the aftermath of his comments from last season with the Ibrox club offering European football, 50,000 crowds and the chance to win silverware.

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard also responded to the comments after Aribo was called up for the Nigerian squad by saying “Joe Aribo is in the right place, trust me”.

Since joining Rangers midfielder Aribo has been called up to the Nigerian national team and is considered a key player by Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr. (Photo by Allsport Co./Getty Images)

Since moving to Ibrox midfielder Aribo has gone on to make 16 appearances on the European stage, scoring four goals and emerging as one of Rangers’ most exciting talents.

Aribo has also gone on to make four appearances for the Nigerian national team, scoring in friendlies against Brazil and Ukraine.

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