Friday Sep 13, 2019. 13:00
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has hailed the progress of midfielder Joe Aribo after his goal on debut for Nigeria against Ukraine this week, and says his international chances have been boosted since a move to Scotland.
Aribo netted in a 2-2 draw in Dnipro in an international friendly, having also made a fine start to the new season at Rangers following his move from Charlton Athletic in the English Championship.
Charlton coach Lee Bowyer had suggested that Aribo’s decision to move north of the border was tantamount to ending his career, and Gerrard could not resist having a dig back.
“I just spoke to Joe. He’s in a fantastic place, smiling away,” Gerrard told reporters.
“Congratulations to him. His first game he manages to get a goal and he was rewarded for his form as a Rangers player.
“It was his first call-up, so it shows you he’s at the right place, he’s playing football at the right level; European football, playing in Old Firms … at last he’s being recognised as an international player.
“Joe Aribo is in the right place, trust me. He [Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr] must have started watching him since he was playing at Rangers. They must be happy with him playing in Europa League games and playing in front of 51,000.
“The people who select now for the Nigerian international football team know now that he can play in big football games. I don’t know many players in the Championship who are playing for Nigeria.”