The Nigerian contingent in the English top-flight has increased with the arrival of the former Charlton Athletic midfielder ahead of what promises to be an interesting 2022-23 season
Southampton FC has finally unveiled Super Eagles midfielder Joe Aribo, making the Nigerian international the club’s second signing of the summer transfer window.
Making the announcement on their official Twitter account, the Saints welcomed the 25-year-old from Rangers FC.
Aribo, with the move, ends a successful three-year spell at Rangers and fulfills a lifelong dream to play in the English Premier League.
Rangers can today confirm the transfer of @J_Aribo19 to @SouthamptonFC for a significant, undisclosed fee.— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) July 9, 2022
Aribo has served Rangers with distinction in the last three seasons, and leaves with the best wishes of everyone at Ibrox.
“It’s an amazing club with a lot of history here, and it’s a good plan with what’s to come next. I’m really excited for the journey,” Aribo told Southampton’s official website.
“The Premier League is the best league in the world. I’ve been watching it since I was a young boy, it’s always been a goal for me to play here and show what I can do on this stage.
“It’s an amazing feeling, a dream come true. This is where I’ve wanted to be since I was a child growing up playing, so to say that I’m here now is really exciting.”
From the EFL to the EPL
Born in Camberwell, England, to Nigerian parents, Joe Aribo began his club career at Staines Town.
The youngster then spent four years with Charlton Athletic in the English Football League.
Famously against Charlton manager Lee Bowyer’s advice, Aribo took the bold decision to quit the Valley and move to Scotland to join Liverpool icon Steven Gerrard at Rangers on a free transfer in 2019.
International recognition soon followed for the youngster, who later that year made his Super Eagles debut, scoring against Ukraine.
Remarkably, Aribo scored another memorable goal against Brazil in his second appearance for Nigeria, sealing his spot in the team since then.
Success also followed him to the Ibrox Stadium, where he proved a crucial member of the Rangers team that lifted the Scottish Premiership title in 2021, having gone the campaign unbeaten.
More extraordinary things soon followed as Aribo made his maiden appearance at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon in January.
The 25-year-old then led Rangers to the final of the Europa League, scoring in the 1-1 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt. One Rangers supporter called it the greatest goal of his life.
Rangers lost to the Germans on penalties.
But Aribo laughed last as the Gers lifted the Scottish Cup with a victory over Hearts in May.
And after 148 games, 26 goals and 25 assists for the Light Blues, Aribo is ready to step up to the Premier League with Southampton.