Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the transfer insider revealed that the 25-year-old is a “target” for the Midlands outfit this summer, with Steven Gerrard and co believed to be on the hunt for a new midfield addition.
Amid reports linking the Nigeria international to Villa Park, Crook stated: “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.”
The 12-cap gem – who is also believed to be the subject of interest from a handful of other Premier League sides – has just 12 months remaining on his existing deal, with reports suggesting he could command a fee of around £10m.
That figure would no doubt represent something of a bargain for the Villans, while also seeing the Ibrox side rake in a tidy profit on the former Charlton Athletic man, having signed him for just £300k during Gerrard’s stint in charge in Glasgow back in 2019.
Managing to secure the services of such a talent for what could be considered pocket change in the modern, footballing market would surely go down well with supporters, as it would allow the club to invest more significantly in other areas of concern, notably at centre-forward.
Aribo’s arrival would not only be an astute business deal for NSWE, however, with the £9m-rated gem undoubtedly a hugely exciting talent, having blossomed during his three-year stint with the Old Firm giants.
Having been integral to the club’s title triumph last year under the current Villa boss, the most recent campaign saw the £14k-per-week brute kick on once again, playing a vital role in the Scottish Premiership side’s surge to the Europa League final, where he notably netted in the showpiece.
Despite the eventual disappointment of that defeat to Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt, Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men would go on to claim the Scottish Cup just a few days later with victory over Hearts, bringing to an end a fine individual campaign that saw the London-born ace net nine goals and provide ten assists in all competitions.
The 6-foot menace – who has previously been dubbed a “joy to watch” by Gerrard – would no doubt add additional steel and class to an already immensely talented Villa midfield, while his invaluable versatility will no doubt see him quickly become a popular figure among the club’s support.
Having scored 20 goals and provided 18 assists in 112 games under the Englishman during their time together in Scotland, the hope will be that he can replicate such promising form should he link up with the Liverpool legend once again in the coming weeks.
That would no doubt be a hugely exciting prospect for supporters.