The Lowdown: Aribo leaves
The Gers confirmed on Saturday evening that the Nigeria international has now left to join Southampton in the Premier League.
On Friday afternoon, they had also confirmed the signing of Lawrence on a free transfer after his contract at Derby County expired, and he could be seen as the natural replacement for Aribo in Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s line-up.
The Latest: Whelan reacts
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan has claimed that the ‘amazing’ Lawrence could replace Aribo for the Light Blues, believing that he will ‘settle right in’.
The 47-year-old chimed: “I think Lawrence is an amazing player. He put the work in at Derby as they were going through a very bad period.
“I believe he’ll settle right in at Rangers. He was probably one of Derby’s best players for a number of years – with his assists, goals, and that box-to-box nature. He’s a real engine.
“He’d definitely complement that midfield at Ibrox. Van Bronckhorst is getting someone in who can replace Aribo as well as that £6million fee to spend elsewhere.”
The Verdict: Time will tell
Only time will tell if Lawrence can fill the void left by Aribo at Rangers.
Hailed as ‘phenomenal’ for club and country last season by Vavel journalist Jack Koblitz, the Nigeria international played no fewer than 70 times in 2021/22. He ranked as the Light Blues’ third-best performer on WhoScored and boasted the team’s second-highest dribbling average (1.4) per game in the Premiership.
Should Rangers have sold Aribo?
Nonetheless, Lawrence also did very well in a struggling Derby team last season, managing an impressive 11 goals and five assists in 38 matches in the Championship as the Rams were relegated to League One (Transfermarkt).
Getting a transfer fee for Aribo and signing Lawrence on a free means that the club have also saved money, which they can now use to help fund other deals.
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