Former Celtic midfielder Simon Ferry has admitted he was left baffled with the transfer fee paid by English Premier League club Southampton to acquire the services of Super Eagles midfielder Joe Aribo from Scottish giants Rangers.
After impressing for the Gers at Ibrox, the 26-year-old Nigeria international finally moved to sign a four-year contract with the Saints on July 9, 2022, for an initial £6million fee.
According to Ferry, who started his career with Scottish Premier League club Celtic, Rangers would have asked for ‘a bit more’ for the player, whom he described as strong, can tackle, create and score goals.
Ferry told Grosvenor Sport as quoted by The Scotsman:
£20m is the most that clubs in Scotland will get for a player now.
If you look at Kieran Tierney, who was exceptional in the league over the course of a couple of years, he left for £25m and so you look at Calvin Bassey who’s only really performed consistently for six months – for me £20m is a no brainer.
Joe Aribo’s £6m fee was more of a shock for me. He can run box-to-box, he’s strong, can tackle and also scores and creates goals.
But maybe, because he wasn’t as effective in the last three months of his Rangers career as he was in the first six months of the season, the price tag came down a little bit.”
Based on his quality alone I’d have been wanting a bit more than £6m but what Scottish clubs don’t want is players running down their contracts and going for free so if there is a hint that Aribo is looking for a move away, it’s so important that clubs do get a bit of money for them.
Aribo made his English Premier League debut for Southampton as they suffered a 4-1 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur last Saturday.