Ibrox Noise noted with interest the reaction from a large portion of Charlton fans who had the audacity to suggest departing Joe Aribo was going to a terrible club and league and that the move was a ‘step backwards’ in his development.
Indeed, our source at the Valley expressed only disappointment at losing the 22-year old AM on pure ability and contribution grounds, but admitted Rangers was a good move. Admittedly not as much on a league level, but certainly on a club grandeur level.
But let’s examine this ‘step backwards’ piffle – is going to the SPL a step backwards in the development of an exciting young attacking player who’s more accustomed to League One or the Championship?
The case in point example has to be Ryan Kent.
Kent, a failed Bristol, Barnsley and Freiburg loanee, found his stock at effectively nil when he joined Rangers. Frankly, no one knew who he was, and his loan at Bristol was so poor that his loan manager accepted a fine in face of not selecting him.
His reputation was non-existent.
12 months later at Ibrox and he’s worth £12M, won Young Player of the Year and his stock has never been even close to half of the level it’s currently at.
A step backwards, you say?
Not sure he’d agree with that.
It’s true – the SPL is a pretty awful league and it’s filled with hatchet men. We accept that point. The lack of finesse is not for everyone. But those who survive it, nay, thrive in it, not only excel, but find their stock rising. Nathan Oduwa is a fine counter example – sure, he was only Championship in Scotland but the rules are similar, and the silky winger sunk badly under the physicality of the league. Same with Ovie Ejaria – just couldn’t cope.
But Kent has – and then some.
So to suggest the league is a step backwards for any player’s development shows a nonsense level of understanding of what ‘development’ is and how it applies to an individual player.
Furthermore, and here’s the real kicker for a number of Charlton fans angry about this signing – Joe Aribo isn’t coming to Ibrox to ‘develop’ – he’ll be our player, and he’s already at an age where he’s defining who he is and what kind of player he wants to be.
And he’s now past the ‘developing’ stage and while he will evolve and grow more, he’ll now be Rangers’ own player – so not one we’re ‘developing’ for anyone else.
Aribo is still in discussions with Charlton last we heard, but his destination choice remains Rangers. Hopefully it’ll go through soon and he can take that ‘step backwards’ as quickly as possible…