Rangers: Van Bronckhorst now facing 'big blow' at Ibrox

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst giving instructions to his side

Rangers’ sale of Joe Aribo to Southampton is a “big blow” to Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side this summer, according to Pete O’Rourke.

The £9m-rated man had just one year left remaining on his deal at Ibrox, before sealing a move to Premier League side Southampton.

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GiveMeSport Transfer Update

What’s the latest on Aribo?

According to The Athletic, Southampton are understood to be paying an initial £6m to the Scottish Premiership side for the midfielder, with add-ons in the deal meaning that the deal could be worth in excess of £10m after Rangers’ sell-on clause is factored into the deal.

The 25-year-old midfielder joined Rangers in 2019 from Charlton Athletic, and made 148 appearances in his time in Scotland, scoring 26 goals and providing 25 assists, according to Transfermarkt.

And O’Rourke believes his departure from Ibrox is a “big blow” for last season’s UEFA Europa League runners-up.

What has O’Rourke said about Aribo?

He told GIVEMESPORT: “It’s a big blow to lose Aribo.

“I think Aribo for a long period last season was maybe Rangers’ best performer, so to lose him is obviously going to come as a blow.

“But I think Rangers have decided to cash in on him this summer, rather than risk allowing him to run down his contract.

“He was into the final year, and it seems like he wasn’t near to agreeing a new deal at Ibrox.”

How big of a loss will Aribo be for Rangers?

The departure of Aribo will be a big disappointment for Rangers fans, with the 20-time Nigeria international often being a standout player for the Glasgow club.

The midfield maestro made 57 appearances for van Bronckhorst’s side last season, scoring nine goals and providing ten assists in that time, according to Transfermarkt.

Aribo was an exceptional midfielder in a defensive sense for Rangers as well, ranking in the top 1% of midfielders across Europe’s top five leagues and European competition for aerial duels won per 90 minutes last season (3.18) according to FBref.

And an average SofaScore rating of 7.07 for his performances in the Premiership last season suggest that he has been a consistently excellent performer for the Glasgow club, though it seems like the time for a step-up to one of Europe’s strongest leagues.

Overall, Aribo’s departure will leave a big gap in Rangers’ midfield, and van Bronckhorst and his staff will have to work hard to find the right player to replace the Nigeria international.

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