By Saikat Mandal

8th Jul, 2022 | 8:40am

Barry Ferguson: One more big Rangers player could leave after Joe Aribo

Barry Ferguson has suggested that another big Rangers player could leave Ibrox this summer after Joe Aribo is close to leaving the club.

Sky Sports reported on 7 July that Southampton are in “advanced talks” to sign Aribo this month. Former BBC journalist Fraser Fletcher also claimed on 7 July that Aribo’s situation is a “done deal”.

Both Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos have one year left on their present deals, and Ferguson suggests that either of them could leave this summer as well.

“In four years at the club his game has improved to such an extent that he is now oven ready for England’s top flight, having learned how to cope with the pressure of having to win games week in week out under an intense spotlight,” wrote Ferguson for The Daily Record (8 July).

“If he can hit the ground running at St Mary’s – as I fully expect he will – Aribo could be moving on to one of the big six clubs in a year or two from now. He really is that good and I have been saying so in this column ever since I first clapped eyes on him in a Rangers top. He’s come on leaps and bounds and that’s why it’ll be such a sore one for fans to see him leave.

“But they’ll come to terms with it soon enough because they understand that this is the price you pay for developing talented young players. It was the same when Nathan Patterson left for Everton and, who knows, there could be at least one more big player leaving this summer given that Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent are going into the final year of their contracts.”

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The key here is reinvestment. Aribo joined the Gers from Charlton for a measly fee of £300,000. He is now leaving the Gers for a fee of around £10m.

This is fantastic business from the club. The transfer model of picking up raw young talents and selling them at a high price has worked brilliantly for the Gers.

The key here is now sensible recruitment. Rangers are unlikely to lose both Aribo and Morelos, but there is a high chance that one of them could leave.

It is essential for the club to stay competitive and add new players as well. Aribo has grown into a top talent and he was simply outstanding last season.

He became a regular for the Nigeria national team and helped the Bears reach the final of the Europa League. He only leaves with blessings from everyone.

It remains to be seen if Giovanni van Bronckhorst signs a like-for-like replacement, as there are suggestions that Alex Lowry would be ready to fill his shoes.

In other Rangers news, Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s imminent new signing has been compared to Ibrox icon Ally McCoist.