Ibrox View: Rangers will surely miss Aribo after latest injury setback
Steven Gerrard has confirmed that Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo will miss the next ‘four to six weeks’ after his latest injury setback.
The Nigeria international started the season in fine form, but picked up an ankle injury in the 3-0 win over St. Johnstone, and now faces a race to be fit in time for the first Old Firm of the season in mid-October.
Rangers haven’t exactly struggled in their three games since Aribo picked up his knock, maintaining an unbeaten record and their spot at the top of the Scottish Premiership.
The Gers’ fixture list is getting busier, however, with their Europa League campaign set to get underway next week, and any added strength in depth would be greatly appreciated as the games start to pile up – especially when the talent is as impressive as Aribo’s.
In his first four appearances this season he registered a pass accuracy of 91.5%, as per Wyscout.
This includes Rangers’ opening day win against Aberdeen, where Aribo managed an incredible 100% pass accuracy, with all 35 of his passes finding their target, as pictured below.
What really stands out, however, is the progressiveness of his play.
Aribo has a pass accuracy of 80% when he’s playing balls into the final third, and that figure rises to 87.5% when he is distributing init the penalty area.
The image above, taken from his last outing against St. Johnstone, illustrates a prime example of the kind of pass Aribo regularly plays.
The vision it takes to thread that ball through a forest of bodies, and the cleverness with which he manages to break the line and feed Ianis Hagi – who has taken up a superb position in a pocket of space – is excellent.
In fact, all of Aribo’s passes into the final third were accurate in that game, and his general pass completion rate was 94%.
Essentially, it is very rare that he doesn’t find his target, and replacing a player who is that consistent is no easy task.
Elsewhere, Aribo has managed a dribble success rate of 60%.
For context, Ryan Kent has averaged a dribble success rate of 54.1% this term.
To be outperforming Kent shows how good the Nigerian is at driving the Gers forward, and his general presence in the centre of the park makes him an increasingly integral weapon in Gerrard’s arsenal.
There’s no doubt he will be a miss for Rangers in the coming weeks, and the Ibrox faithful will be desperately hoping that he can regain full fitness before that vital clash with Celtic next month.
In other Rangers news, Exclusive: Alex McLeish claims Rangers boss Gerrard needs to win a trophy this season.