By Saikat Mandal

7th Jul, 2022 | 9:10am

Kevin Thomson suggests Alex Lowry could replace Rangers exit-bound Joe Aribo

Kevin Thomson has suggested that Rangers have a ready-made replacement for Joe Aribo in Alex Lowry.

According to The Atheltic (6 July), Aribo is set to leave the club to join Southampton after both the club have agreed a fee for the Nigerian midfielder.

Losing Aribo would be a big loss for the club, but the former Gers hero believes that Giovanni can rely on the “exceptional” Lowry to come good and replace the departing midfielder.

Thomson said, as quoted by The Daily Record (6 July): “If I was a young lad, like a Lowry or whatever, and I was seeing guys like Aribo moving on then I would be working extra hard in pre-season to try to stop the manager bothering about spending big money on a replacement.

“There’s no doubt in mind that he has all the tools to nail down a regular first-team place. He has everything in his locker to be a top player. People talk about getting chances and opportunities to train with the first team but I think pre-season, in the modern day game, is a real chance to lay down that marker.

“It’s about putting yourself in front of the manager’s nose and showing him how you live your life, how you conduct yourself in the team hotel at dinner, lunch and breakfast. It’s a chance to cement your position in his thoughts and I’d be really surprised if Alex isn’t doing exactly that right now in Portugal.”

“He’s a big talent. He’s probably got the most scope I’ve ever seen in a kid, brain-wise. His football brain is exceptional. He might not have Aribo’s physique but he can run when he wants to run and his game awareness and technical ability is top of the tree. His decision-making has also improved with maturity and when he’s had opportunities in the first team he’s taken them every single time.”

Not a bad idea

Lowry is a fantastic young talent who impressed heavily last season in whatever little opportunities he got.

He is fearless and has got tremendous vision to pick passes. He is an exciting talent to watch, and Giovanni van Bronckhorst is likely to give him more opportunities in the coming season.

The Gers already are choc-a-bloc with quality midfield options, and Lowry can step in and cement his position in the side. If he can do that seamlessly, it will give the Dutchman an opportunity in the transfer market to look for options elsewhere.

Thomson suggests that the money from Aribo’s sale could be used to offer better contracts to Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent.

Both the players have only a year left on their current deal, and the Bears could be tempted to offload them if they receive a handsome transfer fee.

It is always essential to reinvest in the squad wisely. In this case, Rangers do have a readymade replacement in place who could become as good as Aribo, if not better, in years to come.

In other Rangers news, contract talks with a key player have hit a new impasse with a summer exit now on the cards.