Rangers assistant manager Gary McAllister says he’s expecting big things from a bulked-up Joe Aribo following his return to the side in the 2-0 win over Livingston, as quoted by the Glasgow Times.
Following substitute appearances against Celtic and Standard Liege, Aribo made his first start in over two months against Livi at Ibrox on Sunday.
It was a productive outing for the Nigeria international, too, as he netted his second goal of the campaign in the ninth minute to give his side the lead.
McAllister was delighted to see him back in action and has praised the midfielder’s physical condition.
“We are all big fans of Joe Aribo here,” he said, as quoted by the Glasgow Times. “I think he has been missed. Visually, he looks in a good place as far as where his body shape is.”
“He is in great nick. He has probably put a wee bit of muscle on his upper body.
“We expect big things from Joe. He’s a very talented player. And he can play in two or three different positions. We are pleased to get him back on the pitch.”
McAllister bigs up Rangers star Joe Aribo after goal against Livingston – Verdict
Rangers coped extremely well with losing Aribo for such a long period due to an ankle problem, given that he had been the club’s standout player in pre-season.
As McAllister alludes to here, it’s clear that he was working hard on his upper body strength as well as his rehab during his time away from the pitch, with the 24-year-old looking more physically imposing upon his return to action.
Rangers supporters already know he has the feet, athleticism and finishing ability to make him a standout performer in the Premiership, but additional power will make him even harder to stop.
He’s not quite up to full speed just yet, but the signs were good against Livingston and his return to fitness is a major boost for players, staff and fans alike.