Goalgist 24

Joe Aribo has attributed his ability to function in different roles to the trust manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst has in him.

In the just-concluded 2021-22 campaign, the Nigeria international set a 70-game mark for club and country.

The midfielder played a key role in the Gers’ runners-up finish in the UEFA Europa League – where he scored a goal against Eintracht Frankfurt in the final.

Apart from his starring performances, one of the attributes that earned him rave reviews is his flexibility in any given formation – which has made him a key figure at Rangers and the Nigeria senior national team.

Aribo told BBC Sport Africa:

Playing in different positions has helped me realise what I’m capable of doing and also given me an opportunity to keep growing.

As a young footballer craving a chance to play, you’d grab the chance to even play in goal. But here I am being asked to play for my club in different roles on the pitch, I was happy to do it.

I must say I am no longer the player I was after going through that phase [of self-doubt].

I am grateful to the manager for the trust, my team-mates for believing in me and supporting me.

Despite the Ibrox Stadium giants losing the Scottish league diadem to Celtic and the Europa League to Bundesliga side Frankfurt, Aribo has no regrets. Instead, he is looking forward to what the new season holds.

The 25-year-old continued:

As you know football is like a rollercoaster, it has its ups and downs, but I’ve enjoyed it all.

It’s been a long season and I played a lot of games but as a whole, I’m happy to get silverware. A bit disappointed about the league and Europa League defeat, but to win a trophy is a good thing.

Before I came to Scotland, I didn’t realise how big and special the club is or imagine having the most passionate fans around us. They’re the best fans.

I am happy to be writing a good story with the club and we go again next season with the hope of winning silverware.

By Amara

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