Taribo West has said that Joe Aribo is too weak to play for the Nigeria national team.
Aribo was actually born in London, but decided to play for the country of his ancestors. To date, he has picked up four caps, scoring twice in the process. This term, his first at Ibrox, he has come to the fore, scoring nine goals and providing eight assists in all competitions.
Despite all of that, though, former Super Eagles star West believes that the 23-year-old does not have what it takes to pull on the Nigerian jersey at the moment. He explained:
“I’ve watched Joe Aribo play for Nigeria, but in my view, it’s clear he is yet to come to terms with it.
“There’s no other way of putting this – I think Joe is not a bad player, but he needs time to adjust to African football. It’s not the same as playing in Europe.
“In Africa, there’s no time on the ball and for me, Oghenekaro Etebo is a far better option, He’s quick, physical and reads the game.
“He should get Joe Aribo’s spot when he comes back. African football is just too physical for Joe.”
Strong words from the 46-year-old, and so far, there appears to be little proof to back it up. Two goals in four matches is a fantastic return for a central midfielder, and there is nothing wrong with being a technical player in the middle of the park.
The international game is a different beast to club football, certainly, but that does not mean that the £900,000-valued man – as per Transfermarkt – does not have what it takes to succeed. West should perhaps just give the youngster more time to prove that he is cut out for that level.
It is also worth considering that Nigeria will come up against teams from Europe, South America and other continents. As such, they may need a technical player when it comes to facing those teams.
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