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Scottish Media Claim Southampton Are Chasing Rangers Star
Tuesday, 21st Dec 2021 10:06

The media in Scotland are claiming that Saints are chasing Nigerian International midfielder Joe Aribo, but is their any real substance or is it just the players agent trying to drum up interest in his client ahead of the January transfer window.

The silly season of the January transfer window is only just over a week away from opening and already Saints are being linked with a raft of player and the latest is Joe Aribo a 25 year old central midfielder from Scottish Club Rangers who can also play out wide.

Reports claim a scout from St Mary's was at Ibrox to watch Rangers' 1-0 victory over Dundee United on Saturday.

But initially there was not a lot to see as Aribo was on the bench as Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst rested Aribo and he didn't appear until the hour mark with the scores deadlocked.

Although now a Nigerian International, Aribo was born in London and started with Staines Town before joining Charlton Athletic in 2015 aged 19, he spent 4 years at the Valley establishing himself in the first team in the final two before leaving to join Rangers at the end of his contract in 2019.

He has been a big part of the Rangers set up since and is described as a driving midfield player who can carry the ball into the opponents box.

But at 25 his stats are not great and with due respect the Scottish Premier League is not the strongest, of course Stuart Armstrong made the transition so there could be something in why Saints are looking at the player.

However the Scottish media seemed to have had some strange briefings, one report says

"Southampton, owned by Chinese billionaire Jisheng Gao, are looking to break into Europe going forward, and manager Ralph Hasenhuttl will be backed to land some bargain deals."

This suggests they know something that we don't know .

Aribo will not be expensive and will cost something in the region of £6 million, he will be out of contract in the summer of 2023, so perhaps Rangers will be keen to cash in in January rather than let him go into the last year of his contract.

But you also have to question why Saints would want another player in the midfield, in the centre they already have James Ward Prowse, Oriol Romeu, Ibrahima Diallo, Will Smallbone and even the option of playing Stuart Armstrong in the advanced role that Aribo plays for Rangers, from this perspective I would feel that Saints with a limited budget in the January window would see their priorities in other areas of the field.

Photo: Action Images

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underweststand added 12:57 - Dec 21
Seem to recall seeing his name mentioned when he was still at Charlton, and two years on and a step up to Rangers is some sort of improvement, but as we know it takes time to move up -even from the Championship to the Prem. level.
At 25 he would bring down the average age of the squad, but I agree with (Nick) that unless he is an unrealised talent yet to show up well .. it's still a bit of a gamble, but even a £6 million investment wouldn't break the bank.

SonicBoom added 16:20 - Dec 21
Sounds like us. Going for Europe with bargain buys...

Ali_Diarea added 15:12 - Dec 22
Saints could be lining up a straight swap with Stuart Armstrong?

underweststand added 11:18 - Dec 23
" to Ali Diarea..." although that may seem a quite logical conclusion to draw, I'm not sure that Stuart (ex Celtic) would go down well in Glasgow ...with a move to Rangers.

Although the "religious divide " between the clubs has (thankfully) passed for several decades ago, a Glaswegian friend once told me that the rivalry between the two clubs fanbase was somewhat akin to seeing a Pompey player moving to SMS, or vice versa.


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