The Nigerian midfielder has been a key figure at Rangers since Giovanni Van Bronckhorst arrived at Ibrox, but surprisingly, he didn’t start for the Gers in their 1-0 victory at home
Rangers manager Giovanni Van Bronckhorst has explained that he didn’t start Aribo in Rangers’ 1-0 victory against Dundee United because he wants the Super Eagles star to be available for their crucial Premiership tie against Celtic.
The 25-year-old has been arguably the best performer for the Gers since his new boss replaced Steven Gerrard at Ibrox. However, he wasn’t included in the starting 11 when Rangers beat Dundee United 1-0 at home.
The 25-year-old was only subbed on in the 64th minute, and it was after he came on that Rangers scored through James Tavernier from the penalty spot.
Rangers Gaffer Van Bronckhorst has defended his decision, stating he was looking forward with Aribo, as he didn’t want him to get carded as it would get him suspended.
“I was looking ahead with Joe,” Van Bronckhorst said after the game, as per Scottish Sun.
“It was a bit of a risk for him to be playing because we could lose him if he is booked.”
“I would never have put him in if we were winning but at that moment, we needed his input.”
“I had to take off John Lundstram at half-time because the game needed some other formation.”
“I tried it first with Ianis Hagi inside with Scott Arfield, then I put Joe in there to give us more threat going forward.”
Aribo has five yellow cards in the Premiership this season, and he is only one card away from a suspension.
Rangers face Celtic on January 2, but it is left to be seen if Van Bronckhorst can protect his star man till that time, as Rangers still have two games against St Mirren and Aberdeen before then.