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Rangers: Keith Jackson hints at false nine role for Joe Aribo

Rangers: Keith Jackson hints at false nine role for Joe Aribo -Rangers News

Journalist Keith Jackson has suggested that Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst could deploy Joe Aribo as a false nine on Thursday. 

The lowdown

Rangers are due to travel to Germany for the first leg of their Europa League semi-final this week, where they will take on RB Leipzig.

They already knew they would be without top scorer Alfredo Morelos, who is ruled out for the remainder of the season after undergoing thigh surgery, but now second-top scorer Kemar Roofe has picked up a knee injury which will also sideline him against the Bundesliga outfit.

With those two missing, Fashion Sakala led the line for Gers on Saturday as they won 3-1 at Motherwell.

Aribo is predominantly a central midfielder who is also capable of operating on the right but, according to Transfermarkt, he has never played as a centre-forward or a second striker in his senior career.

The latest

Jackson said in The Daily Record’s Monday Jury that Van Bronckhorst has his ‘work cut out’ to deliver a ‘tactical solution’ to Rangers’ centre-forward problem.

The journalist has pondered if Aribo could ‘operate as a false nine’ and said that, in the circumstances, it would be a ‘huge’ achievement if the Gers leave the Red Bull Arena with ‘the semifinal still alive’.

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The verdict

This is certainly a bold call from Jackson, given that Aribo has no experience in the position, although you could argue that it’s exactly the kind of thing which could catch Leipzig out, as Domenico Tedesco’s side probably won’t be prepared for it.

Aribo is certainly a goalscoring midfielder, having bagged eight over the course of the season. Incidentally, that is more than Sakala (seven), although the Nigerian has played 10 more matches.

If Rangers are to take this gamble, then it’s important that Van Bronckhorst trains the revised shape all week so that his players are able to adjust as best they can ahead of Thursday night.

In other news, Ally McCoist tears into one ‘really poor’ Rangers player

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Article title: Rangers: Keith Jackson hints at false nine role for Joe Aribo

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