Former Rangers defender Alan Hutton has been waxing lyrical about converted winger Joe Aribo, who has been to the fore in several ‘Gers matches recently.
The 23-year-old has played mainly as a central midfielder this season but was switched to a right winger role by Steven Gerrard earlier this month. [via TransferMarkt]
Having provided assists in each of his last three games, the ex-Charlton man has been lauded by Hutton, who told Football Insider: “I think Aribo’s been brilliant. Since he moved forward, I actually really like him there, he can really showcase his skills. He’s very comfortable on the ball so since he’s moved forward, I think he’s been playing really, really well.
“He gives Rangers another dimension. It’s not just running in behind – he’ll take it to feet and he’ll spin, lovely little passes. He’s very clever, he’s a really good footballer.
“He’s really coming into his own now, we’re seeing the very best of him and it’s since he’s been switched further forward.”
Considering the effectiveness that Aribo has demonstrated of late, Hutton is quite justified in saying that he has shone in his new role for Rangers.
He has played as a right winger in the Light Blues’ last four games and set up a goal in his three most recent appearances against Motherwell, Hibernian and Kilmarnock, in addition to scoring in the win at Easter Road.
His tally of assists for the season has nearly doubled in the last fortnight – he had just four to his name prior to the December 15th trip to Fir Park – and he is now the joint-fourth highest assists provider in Gerrard’s squad.
Aribo’s upturn in form has come at the expense of Sheyi Ojo, who hasn’t started in any of Rangers’ last seven league games and had provided only three assists in 10 Premiership outings before Aribo was moved to the right wing, with Scott Arfield consequently adopting a central midfield role.
Writing for The 4th Official, Pratyay Maitra gave Aribo an eight in the player ratings for the Boxing Day win over Kilmarnock and said that he “impressed once again from the right flank as he was direct with his runs and whipped in timely crosses inside the box”.
Sunday’s Glasgow derby against league leaders Celtic would be an ideal fixture in which to preserve his recent run of one assist per game and, as Hutton has said, he has very much embraced his redeployment from central midfield to the right wing.
Rangers fans, do you agree with Hutton’s views on Aribo’s change of role? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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