By Nnamdi Onyeagwara

6th Jul, 2022 | 10:02pm

Rangers replacing Joe Aribo will be a difficult task - Simon Donnelly

Former Scotland striker, Simon Donnelly, has claimed that it will be a difficult task to replace outgoing Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo.

The Nigerian international recently agreed a deal with Southampton, with The Athletic’s David Ornstein reporting that the two clubs have agreed a £6m deal plus add-ons that could reach up to £10m.

However, the former Celtic forward has revealed how uphill of a task replacing the dynamic midfielder will be.

Speaking to Go Radio Football Show as quoted by The Scotsman, Donnelley said: “He will be a big one to fill, that will be a challenge.

“He has been a really good player for Rangers and I think they will have their work cut out trying to fill that void.

“Gio will have to look hard to get somebody of that quality to replace him.”

Donnelly, who played as a forward for Queen’s Park Rangers, Celtic, Sheffield Wednesday, St Johnstone, Dunfermline Athletic, Partick Thistle, and Scotland, also believes the former Charlton midfielder is an imaginative player who excels in creative opportunities.

Donnelly added: “He’s a player that can make things happen, that can go past an opponent and open things up with his ability,”

“There’s not many of those around and up until the turn of the year, I thought he was Rangers’ best player last season.”

Hard to replace?

Aribo joined The Gers in 2019 after four years at Charlton Athletic and quickly established himself as an important member of the team.

He has made 148 appearances since moving to Ibrox scoring 26 goals and providing 25 assists in that time, achieving an impressive record of a goal or assist every 2.9 games during his three years at the club.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst and former manager Steven Gerrard, have both utilised Aribo’s dynamism, energy, and finesse in midfield, with Aribo being key in launching attacks and getting his team up the pitch.

The now Nigerian international came to Scotland as an under the radar free signing with very little hype around him and as become a household name in world football.

Aribo’s style of play is a very useful asset to any team and finding gems like him is rare in the modern-day game and replacing him will be an improbable task, a task that van Bronckhorst and the Rangers board will soon have to embark on one his transfer to Southampton is complete.

In other news, Rangers are reportedly close to completing a deal for PAOK striker, Antonio Colak.