Rangers star Joe Aribo is “in the same bracket” as Spurs and England star Harry Kane – according to the man who gave them both their first taste of senior football.
Russell Slade worked with the pair at Leyton Orient and Charlton respectively, and immediately knew they “had something different about them.”
The veteran manager insists that he knew then they would have a “decent living” from football as he takes “great pleasure” in seeing how things have worked out for them.
“There were two youth players who were outstanding when I took over at Charlton and that’s why I wanted them training with us and involved with the first team,” Slade said [Scottish Sun]
“The two were (Ezri) Konsa, who is at Aston Villa, and Joe Aribo.
“They looked so promising and I was really impressed when I first caught a glimpse of them at the club.
“I gave Harry Kane his debut at 17 when he was on loan at Leyton Orient and Konsa and Aribo were in the same bracket for me.
“They just had something different about them.
“They were always going to make a decent living in football and it gives me great pleasure to see where they all are now.”
Aribo has been a vital player for Steven Gerrard’s side this season in the charge towards 55 and is growing into a top midfielder under Gerrard.
The Nigerian international has shown just how important he can be for the Light Blues and Slade’s confidence in him has been well-placed as he excels at home and in Europe for Rangers.
Many are looking to the Old Firm later this month as the date when Rangers will seal the title, but it’s possible that the Gers could be crowned champions this weekend.