Joe Aribo’s move to Southampton has not gone to plan as the former Rangers man struggles for form and game time at the Premier League strugglers.

When the Saints splashed out £6m initially on a deal that could reportedly rise to over £10m, it looked like a good bit of business.

Motherwell FC v Rangers FC - Cinch Scottish Premiership
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For Nigeria, Joe Aribo has established himself as a key player and a goal in a European final proved that Lee Bowyer was wrong too.

His current predicament – just 100 minutes played this year – has seen some Rangers fans calling for Michael Beale to “bring him home” but, there is one major stumbling block.

Why a move for Joe Aribo is non-starter for Rangers

When Southampton signed Aribo, the deal was loaded so that there was a higher percentage paid up front – £6m – rather than a higher total figure in instalments.

What this means is that the option of asking Southampton to write off the rest of their payments to send the 26-year old back up the road is off the table.

There is also the small matter off the mercurial playmaker being on £60,000 per week.

I’ve no doubt that Aribo would fit in seamlessly alongside Todd Cantwell and Nicolas Raskin, or be on the same wave length as Malik Tillman though.

Aribo would still be a saleable asset if Southampton go down, and it beggars belief that he hasn’t played more when you see just how desperate their form is.

Because of this, he would still command a sizeable fee especially when you consider how versatile he is.

When players leave Rangers there is sometimes a blue-tinted romanticism about how good they were when they were at the club.

Aribo has some big moments, some game winning performances and he was so nearly immortal for Rangers.

However, if you asked me to swap him for Todd Cantwell or if I’d rather spend the same money on Malik Tillman, it wouldn’t take long for me to make my mind up.

It’s possible to be a magician and be consistent, and Aribo was never both.

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