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Rangers set for talks with Nigerian FA

An update has emerged regarding the availability of three key Rangers players prior to heading away with their country for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

What’s the talk?

According to The Scotsman, the Gers are set to hold talks with the Nigerian FA to discuss whether or not Joe Aribo, Calvin Bassey and Leon Balogun will be able to play in the Old Firm derby at the start of January.

The report claims that the trio are all due to jet away with Nigeria ahead of AFCON on December 27 and would miss the derby clash on January 2, with Rangers now set for discussions over a deal to keep them around for that match before releasing them for international duty.

Would this be a major boost for Rangers?

Yes

Yes

No

No

GVB would love it

Ross Wilson could pull off a Rangers masterclass by convincing the Nigerian FA to hold off on calling up the trio before the match against Celtic. Giovanni van Bronckhorst would surely love it if he could have all of them available for the game, as they are all valuable members of the squad.

SofaScore have Aribo (5th), Balogun (9th) and Bassey (10th) all within the club’s top 10 performers in terms of average ratings in the Premiership this season. They have all averaged a score of 7.03 or higher in the league, showing that they have been performing consistently to an impressive standard so far this term.

This highlights their importance to the side and why it would be a masterclass from Wilson if he is able to successfully negotiate their availability against Celtic. Van Bronckhorst will want all of his best players at his disposal for that game and the statistics suggest that all three fall into that category.

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Bassey, in particular, has shot to prominence under the Dutchman since the 43-year-old replaced Steven Gerrard at the helm. The left-back has played in the centre of defence over the last five competitive matches and the Gers have only conceded two goals in that time.

Hopefully, Wilson will be able to convince the Nigerian FA to allow the trio to play against Celtic in these crunch talks and Rangers will have a full squad available. Whilst the three will still miss an as yet undetermined period of time during AFCON, having them in the team against the Hoops could be a major boost as they are the Gers’ closest title rivals as it stands.

AND in other news, Forget Kent: “Exemplary” Rangers beast who won 88% duels finally took chance under GvB…

Article title: Rangers set for talks with Nigerian FA

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