An update has emerged on the African Cup of Nations, that will potentially affect Rangers and what players Gio van Bronckhorst will have at his disposal at Ibrox.
Journalist David Lynch has claimed that the competition is set to be postponed, with it currently set to take place in January and February, as the European Club Association has written to CAF with concerns about the wellbeing of players taking part.
He Tweeted: “I understand that CAF are expected to announce an indefinite postponement of the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations imminently. Discussions taking place over possible compensation for hosts Cameroon.”
CAF have confirmed that the tournament will not be ‘cancelled’, with Lynch’s claim that it will be postponed potentially being the alternative to cancellation.
Rangers fans will surely be buzzing with this news as it hands van Bronckhorst a potentially huge boost heading into some key fixtures over the winter period.
Earlier this month, the club were reportedly waiting on a response from the Nigerian FA regarding whether or not they would allow them to keep Joe Aribo, Leon Balogun and Leon Bassey for the clash with Celtic at the start of January.
This news now appears to suggest that all three of them, injury/fitness pending, will be available for selection against the Hoops. It would also stop them from potentially missing matches on the other side of the winter break at the end of the month, which is why this update will come as great news to those of a Rangers persuasion.
All three of the players who could now be available for the Gers have been in fine form this season. They rank fourth (Aribo), eighth (Bassey) and ninth (Balogun) in the squad for average SofaScore ratings when it comes to outfield players, with all of them averaging a score of 7.05 or higher.
This shows that they have all been able to perform to a high standard on a consistent basis in the Premiership this term. They have been able to turn up week-in-week-out and impress on the pitch, which is why fans will be buzzing to read that they could be set to remain at Ibrox instead of jetting away to play for their country.
Aribo, in particular, being available should leave fans delighted.
The midfielder has produced six goals and two assists in 16 matches this season, averaging an exceptional SofaScore rating of 7.18. He has shown that he has the quality to make a big impact in the final third and having his quality on the ball could be a fantastic benefit of AFCON being postponed.