With Joe Aribo’s move to Southampton accelerating, and advancing close to completion, Ibrox Noise would like to look at the London-born Nigerian’s time at Ibrox overall, and tell you a secret or two you maybe didn’t know about him.
In short, Aribo was a success, a big success.
There is maybe a slight nagging feeling he didn’t quite hit his full heights at Rangers, falling short a bit often – but when he was good he was world class.
His form at the start of last season was some of the best we have ever seen from a Rangers player in the modern era, and even though his stats don’t scream of anything special, it was his contribution in every other way which stood out during that time.
His hold up play, his possession control, his defending (yes, defending) and of course his dribbling not to mention the greatest moment of his career when he scored in Sevilla, Aribo was a slightly awkward looking midfielder but his twinkle-toes and all-round composure were all the more remarkable because of his uncommonly large frame.
Ok, he was absolutely terrible in the air, with heading and aerial prowess surprisingly poor for one so tall, but on the ground he had few matches in the SPL.
And while his time at the club rather fizzled out with a rather weak second half of the season (head turned, focused on a move to England), he still gave what he could and never lacked professionalism.
And on a personal note, he took the time to record a video message for us on the site, on behalf of a Celtic fan who had written in because his Rangers supporting relative was in a coma and would miss the winning of 55. It was to wake up to and he was a big Aribo fan. All round good humanity from all.
He is also a proudly religious man, but not a preaching one, who quietly gets on with living his life and doing the right thing – as reports say tonight, and we can confirm this to be true, there’s zero animosity from him to Rangers and he has us in his heart and always will. He wishes to leave on good terms.
We can say this though – if Rangers were in the PL, Aribo would have spent his whole career with us.
In the end, Rangers will get a profit of around £9.75M on Aribo, which represents excellent business.
When he completes his move south, almost certainly to Southampton, he’ll do so with the best wishes of Ibrox Noise, and we hope, the rest of the fanbase.
Good luck in your new career Joe.