Whilst Rangers enjoyed nearly complete domination over St Mirren at Ibrox on Saturday, the performance of all of Steven Gerrard’s players was extremely professional.
The front three were dangerous, as they have been all season, with Ryan Kent, Alfredo Morelos and Ianis Hagi all getting on the scoresheet for the Gers.
However, the decision to drop Joe Aribo back into midfield after he played on the right wing against Livingston in midweek proved to be an inspired one by Gerrard, as he completely ran the show at Ibrox.
As per SofaScore, the former Charlton Athletic man earned a solid 7.2 match rating for his display, which wasn’t quite on the level of Kent or Connor Goldson, but he was still an important part of Rangers’ victory.
During his time on the pitch, Aribo would have 125 touches of the ball, the most of any player on the pitch from both sides.
The Nigerian international, who reportedly earns £7,500 per week at Rangers, completed 94 of his 102 passes, resulting in a superb 92% pass accuracy during the game, which is a drastic improvement on the 84.5% pass accuracy he has averaged in the Premiership so far this season.
Whilst he didn’t score or assist, nearly every Rangers attack ran through him, as he was hugely involved throughout, whilst also managing one key pass from midfield. His 125 touches was the most of anyone on the pitch at Ibrox, per SofaScore.
It wasn’t just his attacking play which was impressive, however, as he also won all three of his aerial duels during the 90 minutes, as well as winning two tackles, which emphasises that he was just a class above the St Mirren midfielders at Ibrox.
So far this season, Aribo has averaged a superb 7.44 rating for his performances in the Premiership, having contributed six goals and four assists in 25 appearances – which is enough to see him rated as the second-best performer across the season. per WhoScored.
Therefore, the decision to sign him from Charlton in the summer of 2019 looks to have been a superb piece of business, as he has been vital to Rangers’ success so far this season.
And, in other news… Gerrard should unleash “big talent” at Rangers next season