Southampton Linked With Rangers Midfielder When New Head Of Recruitment Appointed
Sunday, 3rd Jul 2022 08:42
The latest reports from Scotland suggest that with the imminent arrival predicted of Manchester City's Joe Shields as head of recruitment at St Mary's, this will lead to a bid from Saints for Rangers Joe Aribo.
Although this has been mentioned before, Saints have been in discussion with Manchester City's Joe Shields who is currently head of the youth recruitment at the Etihad, they want him to become their new head of recruitment at St Mary's, a step up from the level he is currently employed at with City.
Shields has held various scouting roles at youth level for Crystal Palace and Charlton, before joining Manchester City as a youth scout in 2013.
In 2018 he was appointed the head of youth recruitment at City.
During his time at the Etihad he has overseen the arrival & development of a number of players who have played for the City first team and several more who have left the club to succeed elsewhere.
Shields has developed a reputation as one of the best spotters of young talented players in European football and is poised to leave the Etihad Stadium this summer to take up a more senior role at St Mary's.
This has led to speculation in the media both in Scotland and in Nigeria for whom he plays at International level that Joe Aribo from Glasgow Rangers is a target for Southampton.
With Shields knowledge of the player gleaned from his time scouting in London, that this is a player who will now be on his radar if and when he is appointed at St Mary's.
Shields would not be interested in Aribo if he remained with City, but for Southampton this could be a good deal given the age and experience of Aribo and the fact that he is now in the final year of his contract and Rangers would be willing to do a deal now rather than let him leave for nothing next summer.
Although Aribo plays his football for Nigeria he was born in Camberwell in London and this is where the Shield connection comes in, although he did not sign forms as an academy player upon leaving school, he would have been on the radar of Shields during his time at Crystal Palace.
Aribo eventually joined Staines Town and worked his way into the first team in 2014/15 and this led to Charlton offering him a one year deal in 2015, which was subsequently extended to 2019.
At the end of this contract Aribo opted to become a free agent and signed a four year deal for Rangers.
He has become a vital member of Rangers side and scored in the recent Europa League final against Eintracht Frankfurt a game that ended 1-1 with Rangers losing on penalties.
Aribo is essentially a central midfielder although he can play as a right winger or in a more advanced role in the centre of the park.
Turning 26 in a couple of weeks his value has risen sharply in the last year or so and is now said to be around £9 million, although this would be the starting point for Rangers, Saints would be trying to knock down the price given he is now in the last year of his deal and will leave for nothing in less than 12 months.
So is this transfer a genuine rumour or just pure speculation.
I would say that although in many respects Aribo's profile fits the Saints transfer model in terms of age and experience, I think that this is more a case of his agent using the circumstances surrounding the situation including the potential change of head of recruitment at Southampton to put his client in the shop window, if not at Southampton but elsewhere.
Photo: Action Images
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