Joe Aribo of Rangers scores his side’s third goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match against Dundee United at Ibrox Stadium on February 21, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images.
Super Eagles star Joe Aribo has earned top praise from Rangers boss Steven Gerrard after Sunday’s man of the match performance in his side’s 4-1 thumping of Dundee United – a win that edges the Ibrox side closer to their first Scottish Premiership title in a decade.
The Nigerian midfielder scored his second Rangers goal in three days to take his tally to seven for the season in all competitions after a stunning strike left Dundee United goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist with no chance.
Aribo also got an assist when Ianis Hagi turned his goal-bound effort past Siegrist and his powerful bursts from midfield, coupled with some technical magic with the ball at his feet, left Dundee United bamboozled at times.
Rangers are now just three wins away from winning the title in the final eight games of the season and Liverpool great Gerrard was delighted with the showing from the “boss kid” who had started the season on fire before an injury left him struggling, only to regain top form again at the right time as Rangers close in on the league title.
“Aribo’s is a fantastic strike. He’s really back now, he’s took his time getting up to speed but his performance in midweek and his performance today, he deserves his man of the match,” Gerrard told RangersTV.
“He was out for a long time, it was the first injury he’s suffered in his career and had an illness on the back of the injury so it’s took him quite some time getting right back in the groove.
“He was fantastic today, not just the goal, his running power, his quick feet, the way he outplays people and once he gets you in the box you’re in trouble because he’s got all the skills he needs.
“I’m still trying to work it out myself. He’s a fantastic kid, you can’t get him off the training pitch; he’s always working on his game.
“For me, good players can do whatever you ask them to do. The good thing for Joe is he can be effective as a right 10 or a left 10, of course he can because he’s closer to the goal.
“If you ask Joe, he’ll probably want to be closer to the goal. But when we’re at home, playing him as a left eight or a right eight it gives us that bit of ambition in the team rather than having the three number sixes and we know he can burst from deep and it gives us the chance to get Hagi and (Ryan) Kent in the team as well and maybe other people for different games as well.
“Honest to God, I can’t speak highly enough of the kid. He’s a boss kid and he wants to improve. We’re delighted to have him. He decided to come here and develop and grow and he’s moving in the right direction.
“He’s low maintenance, everything he’s putting into it, it’s no surprise he’s getting a lot of good performances in his game now.”