Rangers are to sell Joe Aribo to Southampton for £6M plus addons rising to £10M, but while few Bears have an ill word to say about the Nigerian, what are we actually losing?
Ibrox Noise looked into this in some depth, and you’d be surprised how ineffective Joe Aribo actually was overall last season, despite seemingly stellar performances in the first half.
The crude stats we can start with are goals and assists:
In 57 appearances, 9 goals and 10 assists in all competitions. It’s not anything incredible and if those stats were what we were getting in a new attacking midfielder from a modest league, most fans would be calling him ‘p*sh’.
But it’s in the deeper stats where the real picture comes through even more:
Aribo’s big strength is winning the ball in the opposition half, defending high up, in other words. He was the best in the SPL at this, and we always praised his unheralded defending which few took note of.
But elsewhere the numbers are nowhere near as good.
Chances created Aribo, as a playmaker, was fourth – decent, but not incredible. This is all those key passes and assists that weren’t.
Passes completed in the final third? 5th, behind four other men.
And that’s as good as it got – goals in the SPL, 8, he was 16th in the scorers list, and it’s the dribbles attempted, his supposed key area of expertise, where frankly he was deeply underwhelming. Just 8th in the SPL for this. We’d definitely expected him to be much higher.
Whether this is an amalgamation overall of a stunning first half of the season and a very poor second half, Rangers actually aren’t losing as much as we thought – Aribo has another level to find in football, and Southampton is where he’ll learn if he has that level.
But Rangers, while he was a key ever present, aren’t actually losing as much of a player as we might fear.
We move on.