After a superb season with Rangers, it was only natural that Aribo would attract interest from south of the border, and Villa were one side said to be very interested in signing the Nigeria international, who played under Gerrard at Rangers.
“Joe Aribo will undergo medical tests in the next days in order to complete his move to Southampton. £6m fee plus add-ons, £10m total package to Rangers.”
Given the minimal fee that Southampton are paying for the 25-year-old, who scored in last season’s Europa League final, Villa fans will no doubt be disappointed that their side didn’t push harder to sign Aribo.
Last season saw the midfielder contribute an impressive nine goals and 10 assists in 57 appearances for the Gers, which emphasises how instrumental he was in Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side.
The versatile midfielder, who has also featured in defence and attack, was a big favourite of Gerrard’s during his spell in charge at Ibrox, with the former Liverpool man singing his praises after a superb performance at left-back, saying:
“I tell you what I’ll say about him – good players can play football, and top players can play anywhere on the football pitch and a manager can ask a player to do a role.
“Good players can do some and can’t do some, but Joe Aribo is a top player, so whatever I ask him to do, he goes out and gives it his best shot.”
Therefore, he clearly would have loved to have a player of Aribo’s quality and professionalism at Villa next season, and will no doubt be disappointed to see him join the Saints.
Although Villa are well stocked when it comes to attacking midfielders, few possess the physicality of the six-foot-three Aribo, and the Nigerian could have added a different element to their attack, so supporters will no doubt be gutted with this update from Romano.