Noel Whelan believes that Glasgow Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo may not have fully recovered mentally from the ankle injury that kept him on the sidelines for a considerable spell last year.
Aribo struggling mentally
Aribo was unavailable for seven Premiership matches towards the start of this current campaign (Transfermarkt). While he did score three in his first four upon his return, his more recent displays have come in for plenty of criticism from the Gers supporters.
Talking to Football Insider, Whelan has suggested that the £3.15m-valued Nigeria international (Transfermarkt) is still struggling from the psychological after-effects of the injury. He said:
“I think sometimes, after a long spell out, it can take you a while to get back up to speed
“Psychologically, it can difficult to be very positive and be sure that you won’t get injured again. It is a lot easier said than done. Nine times out of 10 it is your head, rather than your body which is the issue.
“Look, match fitness takes time. Getting back into the groove again takes time. You can be out for a couple of weeks and it can take time to get up to speed again.
“He needs that confidence and belief back. Good players never lose it and he won’t have, mentally he just needs to work harder. It will come back to him.
“Once he can overcome that, we will start to see the best of Aribo again.”
Indeed, you can certainly see where Whelan is coming from. While the former Charlton man has played 90 minutes in each of the last six matches, he has managed just one assist, and he has struggled to put his stamp on any of his side’s matches in recent weeks.
Have you been disappointed with Aribo?
Injuries can undoubtedly have a negative impact on players, but Aribo has been back in the side for a number of months now. The time has come for him to stand up and be counted, especially as the Gers enter the business end of the campaign.
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