Rangers take on Hibernian at Ibrox on Sunday as they look to continue their unbeaten run in the Premiership, and Steven Gerrard should unleash Joe Aribo from the start.
The Nigerian international has been one of the top performers in this impressive Rangers side so far this season, contributing six goals and four assists in 26 league appearances.
This has helped him average a superb 7.40/10 rating from WhoScored, which puts him level with Ryan Kent as the Light Blues’ joint-second best performer in the league this season, with James Tavernier currently leading the way.
It’s clear to see the impact that the former Charlton Athletic man can have from a midfield position, as he has averaged 1.9 dribbles per game in the league this season, which is tied with Kent as the best of any Rangers player.
He has also averaged an impressive 1.3 key passes per game and 1.6 tackles per game, which rates him highly amongst the Rangers squad and demonstrates both his attacking and defensive qualities.
After the international break, during which Aribo featured for Nigeria in their 1-0 win against Benin, he was left on the bench for the Gers’ 4-0 win against Cove Rangers in the Scottish Cup last weekend, but he deserves a starting spot against Hibs.
Therefore, it won’t be an easy game for the Light Blues on Sunday, and Gerrard should ensure that he has his best XI out there, which means restoring Aribo to his starting lineup.
Earlier in the season, after an impressive performance against Dundee United, the 40-year-old manager was full of praise for the midfielder, saying: “He is a fantastic kid, you can’t get him off the training pitch, he’s always working on his game.”
The 24-year-old, who reportedly earns £7,500 per week at Rangers, has clearly progressed during his time at Ibrox and has established himself as a key player so far this season. Gerrard should unleash him against Hibernian on Sunday, as his ability to control proceedings from midfield immediately marks him out as someone who can change the game in Rangers’ favour.