According to the latest reports from Goal, Rangers are in a race with Celtic and Southampton to sign Charlton Atheltic’s talented midfielder Joe Aribo. English heavyweights Arsenal were also keeping track of the 22-year-old, but they have dropped their interest in him.
Aribo is going to be out of contract in the next few weeks and clubs can sign him on a free transfer. The midfielder has contributed with ten goals and five assists this season for Charlton, and they are fighting to get to the Championship by winning the League One playoffs.
The 22-year-old is an attack-minded midfielder, and he is adept at playing in central midfield or even as a no. 10. That is one area where Rangers have had trouble as they lack an outright playmaker in their team. Scott Arfield has shown impressive signs from time to time with regards to what he can do in that role, but he is not a specialist in that position.
Gerrard in November last year mentioned that he would look to sign an outright no. 10 in the future. The club didn’t manage to get their hands on any playmaker in the January transfer window, but they can look to solve that problem in the coming months.
What can the midfielder bring at Ibrox?
Aribo would be a superb addition for Rangers in midfield as he is strong, athletic and has that intelligence to operate as a no. 10. However, he is not yet a finished product, and he might need some time to settle in at the club.
Aribo and Glen Kamara can form a solid partnership in midfield, and we can only imagine how hard it would be to get either of the two off the ball given their technical abilities. The 22-year-old can even surprise the defenders with his impressive pace and acceleration. Not too long ago reports came out that Premier League holders Manchester City were also scouting him.
A tough battle on Gerrard’s hands
It is yet not clear whether the midfielder would extend his contract at the Valley if they win promotion to the Championship. Given his talent and the fact that he will almost be available on a free transfer, we expect quite a few English clubs from the Championship and even the Premier League to come after him. Southampton are one such club who are looking to sign him. In that case, Rangers’ task of luring the Charlton man to the Ibrox could be cut short. With Celtic also in the mix, we can expect a fierce battle for him once Charlton’s season comes to an end after the playoffs.
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