Rangers have enjoyed a fine start to their new season in the Scottish Premiership. They were top of the table going into the international break winning six of their eight fixtures, collecting nineteen points in the process. Joe Aribo has been a prominent part of Steven Gerrard’s midfield for the past couple of seasons. This season the midfielder has been involved in all eight games for his side in the league. So far, he has scored two goals and added one assist. He had proved himself last season, a season in which Steven Gerrard’s Rangers clinched the title in a remarkable manner. While his talent has been recognized now, the midfielder took a long route to the Glasgow giants making his way to Ibrox through non-league football with Staines Town.
Aribo is a left-footed midfielder who operates in the centre of midfield or on the right side of the attack as an inverted winger. He is adept with his first touch and utilizes his quick movements effectively. Aribo signed for Rangers from Charlton Athletic in 2019. He was chosen to appear for Nigeria in the same year and has since been capped six times and scored twice for the Super Eagles, with his first goal coming against Brazil.
His athletic build allows him to operate in multiple spaces such that he can perform in both wide areas and tight spaces. Aribo has described himself as a player who likes to progress with the ball and get high up the pitch.
Let’s take a look at his stats to analyse his form this season for Steven Gerrard’s side.
The above stats indicate Aribo’s brilliant attacking and creativity metrics, he surpasses the median league value in the majority of his attacking and creativity metrics. His offensive duels per 90 and successive attacking actions deserve a special mention.
Aribo is not only adept in creating chances for his team but he can also run at the opposition defence while carrying the ball. He is involved heavily in the build up phases for his team. He utilises his awareness and movement of the body to create opportunities for his teammates in tight areas. His passing and progression stats make his involvement in the build up phases evident.
Aribo’s pass map displays his wide range of passes in multiple areas of the pitch. It also indicates that the midfielder drops deep in his defensive half to help out his teammates. He is also efficient at delivering crosses from both the right and left-hand side of the opposition box. So far, his crosses from the left into the opposition penalty area carry the highest threat.
His pass receive location show the area of the pitch where he drops in order to receive his passes. Aribo is afforded the freedom to roam in both wide areas and the central ones. Often he drifts around the pitch to get into positions that allow him to involve his teammates in the game.
In the past seasons for Rangers, Aribo has displayed his versatility as he has been used as a central midfielder and as a right-winger. His vision and technical ability have been key in providing Rangers with the attacking opportunities. There are certain areas of his game that he needs to improve such as his aerial duels and defensive duels but overall he has been an important figure for the Rangers. His stats indicate that he can replicate and improve his performances this season.