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Southampton: Hasenhuttl must unleash Joe Aribo against Spurs

Southampton kick off their 2022/23 Premier League season this afternoon with an away clash against Tottenham Hotspur.

In terms of what Ralph Hasenhuttl’s first starting XI of the season could look like, one man who we think should be included is Joe Aribo.

Aribo must start for Southampton

The Saints signed the midfielder from Rangers last month on a four-year deal for an initial fee of £6m, which could reportedly rise to £10m.

In 148 appearances for the Gers, the 26-year-old racked up 26 goals and 25 assists along the way, highlighting how useful he can be in terms of scoring and setting up goals.

Across 34 Scottish Premiership appearances under his belt last season, the Nigerian took 56 shots at goal in total, leaving only four other Rangers players with a higher tally.

Even from a defensive point of view, the midfielder showed why the Saints were keen on signing him, as only James Tavernier (42) won more tackles for the Light Blues last season than Aribo (34).

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Having scored in Southampton’s final pre-season game of the summer in their 2-1 defeat against Villarreal, the former Rangers gem has shown that he can also be a goal threat for his new club.

Looking ahead to today’s match, bearing in mind how Spurs ended their previous top-flight campaign with the fourth-best attack and defence in the league regarding the number of goals conceded and scored, this would make a player like Aribo – who can not only offer a goal threat but also be a solid defensive figure – crucial for the Saints’ chances of getting a result.

Should Joe Aribo start against Spurs?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Having also been lauded as “unplayable” by BBC journalist Oluwashina Okeleji, Aribo – who is currently valued at €4m (£3.3m) according to Football Transfers – will surely have lots of Southampton supporters itching to see him in action today.

This could make him a frightening prospect for Spurs to come up against, especially as the Nigeria international will be raring to get his Saints career in the Premier League off to a flying start.

While the south coast club definitely have a tough opening test on their hands against Antonio Conte’s team, having Aribo in from the start could give Southampton a good chance of securing a positive result at Tottenham for the second season in a row.

Article title: Southampton: Hasenhuttl must unleash Joe Aribo against Spurs

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