Glasgow Rangers ace Joe Aribo marked his return from injury with his second goal of the 2020-21 season to help secure three points at Ibrox.
Aribo, 24, was ruled out for a couple of months after he suffered an injury against St. Johnstone in August. But the 4-cap Nigeria international made an appearance as a substitute as he replaced Scott Arfield against Celtic in the closing stages of the first Old Firm derby of the season, before he came off the bench in the 2-0 win over Standard Liege in the Europa League.
Steven Gerrard rewarded him for his efforts with his first start in over two months on Sunday afternoon. And Aribo returned the favour as he opened the scoring against Livingston, with the win meaning Rangers have moved six points clear of their arch-rivals Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership table. Jermain Defoe’s initial shot was blocked but Aribo remained unmarked and he slotted home the opener from six yards outside the goal.
Rangers assistant manager Gary McAllister praised the “very talented” player for his performance and physical condition, as quoted by the Glasgow Times.
He said: “We are all big fans of Joe Aribo here, I think he has been missed. Visually, he looks in a good place as far as where his body shape is.”
“He is in great nick. He has probably put a wee bit of muscle on his upper body.
“We expect big things from Joe. He’s a very talented player. And he can play in two or three different positions. We are pleased to get him back on the pitch.”
SofaScore gave Aribo a high grade of 7.1 – he completed 29 out of 33 passes in total at a pass accuracy rating of 88%, whilst he won four out of nine ground duels, took one shot on target, and completed two out of three dribble attempts, as well as made one tackle and three clearances, which shows that he put in a defensive shift as well.
Similarly, GlasgowLive gave him a grade of 7/10, claiming he “announced his return to the starting XI with a goal and showed plenty of energy throughout. Not quite at full speed yet but a strong performance given his injury lay-off.”
If this performance is anything, Aribo, who currently earns wages worth £8k-per-week, could be giving Gerrard a big headache, as Scott Arfield has also impressed in recent weeks, whilst Bongani Zungu still has not made his first-team debut despite the fact he arrived at the Ibrox outfit on transfer deadline day.
Surely there is no better way to show the boss what you can do than by scoring upon your return to the starting line-up. Full marks from us.
AND in other news, Glasgow Rangers ace Ianis Hagi sends Gerrard timely reminder with masterclass vs Livingston…
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