Aston Villa: Gerrard targeting 'dynamic' £10m midfielder at Villa Park

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard looking into the distance

Aston Villa target Joe Aribo is the ‘type of young player’ manager Steven Gerrard would like to nurture, according to talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook.

The 25-year-old is believed to be on the radar of several Premier League clubs following three successful seasons with Scottish giants Rangers.

What is the latest news involving Aribo?

Back in February, a report from The Sun claimed that Crystal Palace were lining up a £10 million move for Aribo after identifying him as the ideal heir for loan star Conor Gallagher.

However, it now seems as though newly-promoted Nottingham Forest have jumped to the front of the queue for the Nigeria international’s signature.

The Scottish Sun have revealed that Forest are prepared to ‘spend big’ in order to secure Aribo’s services, and they may have to, with Palace, Fulham and Villa also listed as potential suitors.

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And the Villans may have the upper hand when it comes to negotiating a deal for the versatile midfielder due to his connections with Gerrard.

It was the 42-year-old tactician who signed Aribo for the Gers in 2019, and he went on to register 20 goals and 18 assists in 112 appearances under his tutelage, claiming the Scottish Premiership title together in 2020/21.

What has Crook said about Aribo?

Aribo’s current contract at Ibrox only has 12 months left to run, and with no signs of him putting pen to paper on fresh terms, an imminent exit appears to be inevitable.

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And Crook has disclosed to GiveMeSport that he was informed of Villa’s interest in the player when he was covering their Europa League final clash with Eintracht Frankfurt last month.

He told GMS: “I was told when I was out in Seville for the Europa League Final that Joe Aribo was a target for Aston Villa, so that doesn’t surprise me at all. I think he’s the type of young player that Steven Gerrard thinks he can mould and improve.”

Would Aribo be a good signing?

Current Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst described Aribo as “dynamic”, and he is certainly a player who makes his presence known on the pitch in more ways than one.

The 6 foot ace racked up 19 goal contributions in 57 outings throughout last season as he helped his side reach the Europa League final while claiming the Scottish Cup.

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But Aribo is also never one to shirk his defensive responsibilities. As per FBref, he has ranked in the 99th percentile for aerial duels won, 97th for expected assists, and the 95th for clearances and interceptions amongst his positional peers over the last year.

The race for Aribo’s signature could be one of the most fiercely contested battles this summer, and whoever he chooses to join will be acquiring a player capable of helping out at both ends of the pitch.

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