Glasgow Rangers of Scotland midfielder, Joe Aribo has received plaudits from his coach at he Scottish Premiership club, Steven Gerrard, who says he was excited seeing the former Charlton Athletic of England lad get his first national team outing with Nigeria’s Super Eagles.
While also acknowledging how thrilled he was seeing Aribo score on hi debut, as the youngster hit target after just three minutes of Tuesday’s 2-2 away to Ukraine in an international friendly, Gerrard added that he expects more of such from the midfield battler.
Gerard went on to profess that he never doubted Aribo’s ability to excel on the highest level, which he pointed out is among the factors that occasioned the lad joining The Gers this summer, and the Liverpool legend went on to predict many more glorious days ahead of the Ondo State indigene ahead with Nigeria.
The Reds former captain further praised Aribo for rising to the occasion at Dnipro-Arena, as his ward, who has also ignited a blistering start to his career in Scotland a well as in the UEFA Europa League, hit the ground running for his international breakthrough, which the player-turned-gaffer believes has shown that the youngster is playing his football in the right place.
Gerrard is further enchanted that Aribo has vindicated his strong belief in the lad, as the player’s decision to move to Scotland from Charlton in the summer was criticised by The Addicks’ boss, Lee Bowyer and his predecessor at The Valley, Chris Powell.
The former Leeds City and England midfielder argued that a switch to Rangers would not benefit Aribo’s career, but the 23-year-old’s early form at Ibrox has now won him his first Eagles’ cap and his coach at Ibrox is waxing lyrical over his protégé’s outing in Ukraine, where he noted only donned Nigeria’s iconic number 10 jersey, last cornered by immediate past retired captain, John Mikel Obi, but ignited debate in his favour to keep the garb for the distant future.
Gerrard said: “Joe Aribo is in the right place, trust me. Congratulations to him, his first game and he manages to get a goal. I spoke to Joe, he was on a recovery day. He is in a fantastic place, smiling away.
“He was rewarded for his form as a Rangers player. It was his first call-up so it shows you he’s at the right place, playing football at the right level: European football, playing in Old Firms.
“The people who select for the Nigerian national team know now that he can play in big football games. I don’t know many players in the Championship who are playing for Nigeria.
“They must have started watching him since he was playing for Rangers. They must be happy with him playing in Europa League games and playing in front of 51,000. At last he has been recognised as an international player.”