He proved to be one Steven Gerrard’s best acquisition since moving from Charlton Athletic to Glasgow Rangers and he played a key role in helping the Ibrox side rescue the league title from rivals-Celtic last season. With Patrick Viera targeting Joe Aribo in his Crystal Palace rebuilding process, a return to England is on the horizon for the Nigerian
With Crystal Palace on the verge of luring Nigerian star, Joe Aribo to London, Rangers have slammed £10 million as the transfer fee of the Super Eagle.
According to Football Insider, Premier League side, Crystal Palace will need to cough out a transfer fee of over £10 million in order to sign Rangers Aribo in the upcoming January transfer window.
The 25-year-old is one of Steven Gerrard’s key players at the Ibrox. While the Scottish champions have no intention to let the player go easily, a fee in the region of the aforementioned figure could sway their heads.
Aribo joined the club from the English side Charlton Athletic on a free in 2019. He has since seen his reputation rise as Rangers once again emerge as a force in Scottish football.
A versatile player capable of fulfilling several roles, Aribo has so far made 107 appearances for Rangers. During that time, he has scored 19 goals and assisted 17 more. He has also won seven caps for Nigeria at the senior level.
Palace have made some wise investments this summer. Michael Olise, Marc Guehi, Will Hughes, Odsonne Edouard and Joachim Anderson have given Patrick Vieira a solid young foundation to build his team around.
Another one of Palace’s key acquisitions was Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher who signed on a season-long loan. The youngster has been an excellent addition and impressed in the Eagles’ 2-2 draw away to Arsenal.
With him unlikely to sign on permanently, a void need to be filled in a year. Aribo could be just the man to do that. There is little doubt that he has improved in the last few seasons. Playing under one of the greatest mid-fielders of his generation in Steven Gerrard surely appeared to have worked wonders.
Aribo is currently in the final 18 months of his contract that will expire in 2023. Unless he pens a new deal, Palace could find themselves being handed the stronger hand in negotiations.
For all their success domestically, Rangers have little chance of offering the player a bigger stage for his performances. Palace, for their part, are miles away from competition for silverware. However, with a young core at the helm, the Londoners could be putting together something special.
A no-nonsense player, the Nigerian should slot in seamlessly in Vieira’s midfield. His presence will also give the more technical players ahead of him the freedom to express themselves. His ability to dribble and make key passes and an eye for tackle could see him fit like a glove at Selhurst Park. Whether an agreement can be reached between the clubs, this January remains to be seen.
Following the summer window, Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr claimed Aribo was late for international duty after being involved in transfer talks.
The Super Eagles boss stated that a club south of the border had been tracking the playmaker until the very last seconds of the deadline.
However, Aribo has now poured cold water over the statements from his international boss insisting he was only concentrating on life in the Scottish Premiership.
When asked about his future by Nigerian radio station Brila FM, the Rangers playmaker said: “I am not focused with anything that is coming outside of football.
“I’m just focused on what’s going on with my club, and me and my club so that’s all I care about and that’s what I want to be doing.”
He also hailed the impact of Steven Gerrard on his career, having been deployed in several different midfield areas so far this season.
Aribo added: “It’s helping me grow as a player. “I’m understanding different positions, what to do in certain positions on the pitch so it’s really good for me and it helps me grow as a player.
“I want to add goals and assists to my game so hopefully I can get as many as possible.”
Signing a four-year deal following a cut-price transfer from Charlton Athletic, Aribo’s progress at Rangers has been evident and he now stands as a key first team player.
But the London-born Nigerian star’s contract situation will have Ibrox chiefs nervous and other clubs looking with Palace named as one side taking a keen interest.
Rangers have “no intention” of letting Aribo go easily and any bidding will begin at eight figures.
Under World Cup winning French boss, Patrick Viera, Crystal Palace are a side reinvented and certainly pose an interesting option for Joe.
Aribo has visibly increased in stature for Rangers both on the pitch and in his physical standing as he takes major steps in his development at Ibrox.
Infamously warned off a move to Scotland by former Addicks boss Lee Bowyer, Aribo has become an established European footballer and Nigerian international since coming to Ibrox.
Not to mention the fact the midfielder was also part of the side which secured the 55th title for the Gers.
A popular player with immense technique, Aribo’s highlight at Ibrox will be a montage of remarkable first touches, silky skills, neat assists and wonderful finishes.
There is a lot more to come for the player – if anything Aribo’s biggest issue is consistency and there is still room for him to grow at Rangers.
In his reaction, Gerrard lauded Aribo’s “fantastic” goal and he praised him for his hard work in training.
The Liverpool legend told the club website:“It was a fantastic strike, he is really back now. He was out for a long time, it was his first injury in his career and he had an illness on the back of that so it took him quite some time to get right back in the groove.
“He was fantastic today, not just the goal but his running power, his quick feet and the way he outplays people. He is a fantastic kid, you can’t get him off the training pitch, he’s always working on his game.
“He decided to come to Rangers to develop and grow and he is certainly moving in the right direction. There’s no surprise that he is getting a lot of good performances in his game right now.”