Gio could be ready to make big call on Joe Aribo

Gio could be ready to make big call on Joe Aribo
DORTMUND, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 17: Joe Aribo of Rangers celebrates after their side scored their second goal during the UEFA Europa League Knockout Round Play-Offs Leg One match between Borussia Dortmund and Rangers FC at Football Arena Dortmund on February 17, 2022 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

It’s the big call, and we got a fine sample of it briefly v Leipzig – Joe Aribo as a false 9. Will Gio go for it and put the big Nigerian up top against Celtic tomorrow, given it’s evident no alternative available option to Alfredo Morelos is capable of it?

There’s no question Rangers’ best spell of the match came when Aribo went into that attacking role at the start of the second half, only for Gio to strangely reverse it by pushing him out wide for the introduction of Sakala.

It actually had the effect of giving Rangers a badly-needed focal point, a big target man who, crucially, can hold the ball up and bring others in. Sure, his passing wasn’t the best, but he managed a few good holdups and was able to bring Ryan Kent in a number of times.

Without Morelos, and now, it seems, without Kemar Roofe, Aribo could be the perfect answer to a real issue.

We need someone strong, big and quick – Aribo is all of these, and he’s got superb composure on the ball, and if by a miracle either Roofe or Aaron Ramsey make it, they can go behind Aribo to help support him.

Or he and Roofe can interchange.

At the end of the day, Aribo showed v Leipzig he’s capable of playing that role – it was also some of the best and most effective he’s been all this calendar year, during a time in which he hasn’t been at his classic best.

Will we see him there tomorrow?

We hope so.

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