There is the possibility of seeing more Super Eagles stars follow Taiwo Awoniyi to the world’s most glamorous league this summer
Former Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Kenny Miller is convinced the time is perfect for Glasgow Rangers to consider letting Nigerian midfielder Joe Aribo make a dream move to the Premier League.
Aribo has been one of Rangers’ most consistent performers since his £300k switch from lower league side Charlton Athletic in July 2019.
The 25-year-old has become a household name in Scotland, helping the Gers win the Premiership title last season and reach the final of the Europa League this term.
A Nigerian international with 20 caps and two goals, Aribo made his maiden Africa Cup of Nations appearance in Cameroon earlier this year.
Aribo’s decent displays for club and country have not gone unnoticed, as several Premier League sides have been linked with him. Crystal Palace, Southampton and Aston Villa have all come up as possible destinations for the versatile midfielder.
Nottingham Forest, fresh from splashing a club-record £17.2 million on compatriot Taiwo Awoniyi, are the latest side to be credited with an interest in Aribo.
The situation is tricky for Rangers as the Super Eagles star’s contract expires next summer when he could leave for free.
Aribo has shown no interest in contract extension talks, as the Premier League remains the player’s dream destination.
Kenny Miller, one of a handful of players to play for both Rangers and Celtic, has urged the Light Blues to be prepared to say their goodbyes to Aribo if they cannot get him to extend his contract.
While Aribo remains one of the Gers’ most prized assets, Miller warns that not many suitors would be willing to offer crazy transfer fees for
“Joe is now at a good age,” Miller wrote in his Daily Record column.
“If you profile him, he has everything a Premier League club would want. With a year left on his contract, teams won’t be stupid with potential bids. Rangers will have a valuation of what he’s worth and it’s about whether they can find that common ground with a buyer. Aribo, Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent are all going into their last year.
“They’re all starting players so you don’t want constant speculation. It can sidetrack the player and become a sideshow for the manager who gets asked about it every week. So I’d like to see Aribo’s situation resolved quickly. Either re-sign him on a new deal or if the board are willing to sell, let’s bring in the most money we can.
“London probably makes sense for Joe because it’s where he grew up. He will have ambitions of playing in the Premier League. And of those three players at Rangers, you have to think at least one will move on. Joe only signed for around £300k. If Rangers can get around £8million for him it’s good business.
“That’s the model every club wants. You sign cheap – the same way Celtic did with Moussa Dembele – and sell big. Clubs need to balance the books and Rangers are no different. Right now, Aribo is still an asset.
“But if it gets to Christmas time and nothing’s happened, he’ll probably leave for nothing. It’s all about timing. If it’s right for the player and club, maybe now is a good time for him to go.”
Should Aribo seal a move to the Premier League, he would be joining international teammates Everton’s Alex Iwobi, Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi in the world’s most glamorous league.